Dwyane Wade says goodbye to Bulls as he joins rival Cavs

Dwyane Wade is no longer a Bull. He is now a Cav.

The Chicago native said goodbye to his hometown team Wednesday, officially announcing what was previously reported: that he'll be joining up with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"I've always dreamed of playing for the Chicago Bulls, and I feel so fortunate to have fulfilled my dream this past year," Wade said in a lengthy statement. "The team is now heading in a different direction, which has made me reevaluate where I need to be in this phase of my career. Being a part of a team that is in the process of rebuilding doesn't align with where I want to be right now no matter how difficult that decision may be.

"In the hopes of pursuing a fourth championship, I've reached a deal with the Chicago Bulls and I am excited to share that I will be joining the Cleveland Cavaliers this season. There's no better place to be right now to continue to play and compete at the highest level. Cleveland believes in my talents and what I can bring to a championship contender both as a player and leader. I look forward to reuniting and playing alongside my brother LeBron. We’ve already won two championships together, and I hope we win a third.

"This was an incredibly difficult decision, and I am very grateful to the Bulls organization, my fans and the Chicago community for welcoming me home with open arms. It meant so much to me seeing my mom on the sidelines cheering me on as a Bull. I am so proud of the work we have been doing in the community, and we plan to continue these efforts. It's been an honor and a privilege to play for my hometown. Chicago holds a very special place in my heart and will always be home to me."

Wade reunites with James, two future Hall of Famers who won two championships together as members of the Miami Heat. Wade will also join another former Bulls star, Derrick Rose, who signed up with the Cavs this offseason after spending last season with the New York Knicks.

Wade spent 13 seasons with the Heat before joining the Bulls last season. He averaged 18.3 points per game in his one season in Chicago. But after the Bulls traded away Jimmy Butler this offseason, it became clear the team was moving in a direction that would not allow Wade to pursue a championship.

Chicago fans won't have to wait long to see the Bulls take on Wade and Rose. The Bulls travel to Cleveland to play the Cavs in the season's third game on Oct. 24. The two teams actually play each other before then, in an Oct. 10 preseason game. Wade and Rose return to Chicago for a homecoming game against the Bulls on Dec. 4.