Wade, a Chicago area native, and the Bulls entered serious negotiations late Wednesday after he held free agent meetings during the day with several teams, sources said. The Bulls ramped up efforts to clear needed space to give Wade the multiyear deal he has been seeking.
The Miami Heat have a two-year, $40 million offer on the table for Wade. But there has been extreme acrimony building between the sides over the last week. Wade met with Heat owner Micky Arison in New York Monday.
Sources: Bulls, eyeing Wade, seek Calderon trade
The Bulls thought Wednesday they had a trade partner to deal away Jose Calderon as they sought to clear salary-cap space in an effort to lure free agent Dwyane Wade, sources say.
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Afterward the Bulls picked up their intensity in attempting to trade players, sources said.
That has been focused on the veteran Calderon, who is in the final year of a contract that pays him $7.7 million.
If the Bulls are able to offload his deal, clears the way for them to create more than $20 million and beat the Heat’s offer.
The Bulls have also been seeking offers for Mike Dunleavy, who is slated to earn $4.8 million this season.
The richest offer for Wade has been from the Denver Nuggets, who have offered him $52 million over two years. Wade met with the Nuggets Wednesday.
Wade has told friends if he ever left Miami, where he has played 13 seasons and won three titles, it would be to play for his hometown Bulls, sources said.