Bulls not planning Dwyane Wade meeting 'as of now', says source

ORLANDO -- The Chicago Bulls' front office is not planning on a face-to-face meeting with Heatstar Dwyane Wade in New York City "as of now," a league source told ESPN, despite the fact that Wade met with the Denver Nuggets and Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.

The Vertical reported Wednesday that the Bulls postponed a meeting with Wade because of flight delay issues but that they were calling teams to unload contracts, trying to create space to sign him.

Heatowner Micky Arison met with Wade in New York on Wednesday afternoon. A league source told ESPN that Arison emerged from the meeting without a resolution or an agreement in place. Arison later posted a photo from a cruise ship to his social media accounts and indicated he was headed to Europe.

It was Arison, the Carnival Cruise Line magnate, who stepped in during acrimonious negotiations between Wade and team president Pat Riley to broker the one-year, $20 million deal Wade signed last summer.

The Nuggets have offered Wade a two-year deal worth north of $50 million, league sources told ESPN.

Wade also met with Bucks owner Marc Lasry. Sources say Wade is said to be a big fan of Bucks swingman Khris Middleton after they worked out together last summer.

This isn't the first time Wade, a Chicago native, and the Bulls have been linked in free-agency speculation. In the summer of 2010, some within the Bulls organization believed that both Wade and fellow free agent Chris Bosh were going to sign to play in Chicago after taking a visit to the city and talking with some Bulls players. Ultimately, Wade and Bosh decided to team with LeBron James and form a super team in Miami that would go on to win two NBA championships.

Having lost out on Wade once before in free agency, some within the Bulls' organization are concerned that Wade could be using Chicago as free-agency leverage to bring Miami's offer up, sources told ESPN. But the chatter among league sources at the Orlando Summer League remains that Wade will once again sign in Miami when all is said and done.

After dealing Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks last week, Bulls GM Gar Forman acknowledged that Chicago's window for championship contention had closed and that his team needed to get "younger" and more "athletic."

The Bulls changed course by signing veteran point guard Rajon Rondo on Sunday and would significantly veer away from that message by adding Wade. But without Rose as a box office draw, the Bulls could decide to roll the dice with Wade, who like star guard Jimmy Butler is a Marquettealum, and hope for the best as they try to figure out how they want to rebuild the roster.

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