LeBron James wanted his longtime friend and former teammate Dwyane Wade to join him in Cleveland, but admitted that the Cavaliers didn't have the budget to make it happen.
“We couldn't afford him,” James said, according to ESPN. “It's that simple.”
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After spending the beginning of his 13-year NBA career in Miami, Wade signed a two-year, $47 million contract with his hometown Chicago Bulls this off-season. With James, Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love all signed to long-term deals in Cleveland, the Cavaliers could have offered Wade only about $3.5 million.
James said he supported Wade's decision to sign with Chicago, but the Cavaliers were still intrigued at the opportunity to reunite two players who had won two NBA titles together.
“Who wouldn't be interested in a Hall of Famer?” head coach Tyronn Lue said. “That don't even make sense. Yeah, we wanted him.”
James and Wade will meet on the court for the first time of the 2016–17 season when the Bulls host the Cavaliers in a preseason game on Friday. Their first regular season matchup will be on Dec. 2 in Chicago.