Dwyane Wade out for the rest of the regular season with elbow sprain, fracture

Dwyane Wade’s career in Chicago has likely come to an end, after what will eventually be remembered as 1,722 embarrassing minutes with the franchise. An injured right elbow initially diagnosed as a “hyperextension” awaiting an MRI turn, during Wednesday’s loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, has now been classified as a sprain and fractured elbow, and the future Hall of Famer will be done for the season.

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No starter has been announced in Wade’s place by second-year Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg:


The injury is the latest in another long line of blows for a Bulls team that, with each passing week of the 2016-17 season, appears to have deserved every one of them. It will be a shame to see Wade and his 18.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game done for the season, but a far weaker disappointment than the one that would have arisen should those contributions been taken away from the ascending and potentially playoff-bound Miami Heat.

Those Heat, a club that Wade left after 13 years due to a contract dispute in 2016, are currently tied for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They sit a game above the No. 10 Bulls in what was supposed to be a rebuilding year for Miami. The Bulls, who signed Wade to a two-year, $47 million contract last offseason, were expected by the team’s front office to approach contender status in the East, but Chicago sits out of the postseason bracket with 14 to play despite a spectacular season from Jimmy Butler.

It’s hard to say how much of Wade’s style rubbed off on Butler in what has become a career year for the latter, as the Bulls draftee was already doing similar damage as he eased into his prime in 2015-16. The thinking from Chicago was that Wade, though on the downside of his career, could meld with Butler’s all-around approach in creating a wing duo for the ages.

“I’m not saying the uniform looks right, because it doesn’t.” (Getty Images)
“I’m not saying the uniform looks right, because it doesn’t.” (Getty Images)

Wade, meanwhile, figured he could stick it to Pat Riley and his former Heat club (after they demurred on handing a rich payday to the 35-year-old last offseason) by making significant money with a one-time rival from Chicago. The Bulls could take in heaps of national TV appearances while possibly giving LeBron James and his title-defending Cleveland Cavaliers a run in the second round of the playoffs, all while collecting $23.2 million and possibly another grandfathered-in All-Star berth.

Instead, the transparent exercise ends with a whimper, with Wade finally been given an excuse to walk away from the club he never fully embraced in the first place. The superstar had no reason to take to this franchise, it’s hard to respect the Chicago front office’s desperation in the actual face of it, and everyone north of Miami surely comes off looking the part of the loser in this scenario.

Dwyane Wade becomes a free agent on July 1 if he chooses to turn down the final year of his two-year contract, a player option at a guaranteed $24 million. His and Chicago’s approach to his place on the 2017-18 roster, whether it’s assured or hardly considered, will further reveal just how craven either side can be.

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Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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