Dwyane Wade buys $1.4 million Chicago townhouse


Aug 10

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Has Dwyane Wade purchased his Chicago dream house as a prelude to signing a free agent contract with the Bulls next summer?

Or is Wade just a clever real estate speculator at a good time?

Prying eyes want to know. And at least basketball franchises in Chicago and Miami.’s real estate blog reported Monday that Wade has purchased a four story riverfront townhouse in Kinzie Park, which is just west of the Loop across the river from the East Bank Club. The price is said to be about $1.4 million, which hardly seems like what you’d pay for an occasional getaway place back in your hometown if you are planning to establish roots in Miami by signing a major extension.

Or is it?

You never can say never with NBA players since Wade should be earning at least $17 million a season once he signs an extension or leaves as a free agent. So then what’s a little $1.4 million second (or third) home? The list price was $1.7 million.

But this certainly is something to give one—or many—pause of given Wade’s fairly open questioning of Miami’s rebuilding plan and recent disappointment despite Wade’s obvious lobbying to steal Lamar Odom away from the Lakers. Wade has made it clear he is watching what Miami does—and he has sent signals it better be impressive—before he decides whether to return to South Florida.

I keep hearing from people who deal with Wade he is leaning toward returning to the Heat because they can give him a six-year extension instead of a five-year deal from a new team if he leaves and the annual raises will be more, making for a much larger total deal. But Wade also has made it clear he is not about to return to Miami with a weak roster like the one he did a Herculean job of getting to the playoffs last season. And pursuing teams have ways, like with insuring future years, to approximate the contracts.

Also, it is no secret around the NBA Wade was unhappy last season with the behavior and attitude of rookies Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers. And now the Heat is said to have interest in Allen Iverson, albeit for a season. The way the Pistons melted down with Iverson and with the lure of South Beach, it has to be a huge gamble for the Heat. And if it were to go bad, it might only push Wade farther out the door.

And back to his home town?

The way the Great Free Agent Class of 2010 is shaping up, Wade is looking like the biggest prize.

That’s because the belief is LeBron James is most likely to return to the Cavs while Wade had a remarkable season is taking a weak Heat team to the fifth seed in the East. The Heat’s roster, by most accounts, didn’t match Toronto’s, where Chris Bosh’s team didn’t come close to making the playoffs.

The consensus among NBA executives is James will remain in Cleveland, mostly because there may not be anywhere better to go. The big threat was the Knicks. But the declining salary cap likely won’t allow the Knicks enough salary cap space to sign two free agents. The Knicks roster is awful, and it likely would be a major step back competitively for James to join a team like that. With Kobe Bryant back with a championship, it is now James—before it was Bryant when James made the Finals in 2007—who is most likely to be anxious to be with a team that has the best chance to win a championship.

The belief is the Cavs will be a better option, and, of course, can provide him the biggest contract. Toronto’s Bosh has been the other big name. But there are increasing indications he will remain in Toronto given an aggressive summer of acquisitions, including Hedo Turkoglu.

Should Bosh still look to leave, the consensus is it will be a race between the Cavs with James and the Heat with Wade to try to sign Bosh and combine two All Stars and Olympic teammates. The free agents who played on the 2008 gold medal team supposedly have talked about eventually playing together.

Which is about where the Bulls come in with an opening at shooting guard with Ben Gordon leaving as a free agent. The Bulls have a potential star at point guard in Derrick Rose, who is considered by other NBA players attractive to play with because he will give up the ball and also is the kind of threat who can occupy the defense. Plus, the Bulls have some young veterans in place who figure as good complementary pieces, like Luol Deng and Joakim Noah.

You can make the case that Wade could be a final piece, and what better place than back home in Chicago where Wade has been developing business interests and is the kind of major market endorsers prefer. Of course, it all puts pressure on the Bulls to have a good season since Wade certainly wouldn’t want to change teams to one where he might have less chance of succeeding.

And now Wade apparently is the owner of an impressive downtown property that would be convenient to come home to after a game at the United Center. The townhouses have private yards fronting the Chicago River along a promenade with a two-car garage and rooftop deck. The unit is about 3,900 square feet. Wade’s mother, Jolinda, has her own ministry as the Temple of Praise on South Halsted Street, which Wade purchased for her. The report said Wade closed in June.

The big question is come next June what deal will Wade be looking to close on and where. We’re going to hear a lot more about this story.

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