Dwyane Wade couldn't make it work with the Miami Heat last summer because the team thought he was asking for too much money. A year later, he has done a complete 180. Just days after the Chicago Bulls bought out the remainder of his contract, the legendary shooting guard decided on his next destination: the Cleveland Cavaliers. The choice wasn't a major surprise for a variety of reasons. What will surprise many more people is the price the Cavs are paying to have one of the greatest players of a generation join the fold.

The Cavaliers steal another guard

Earlier in the offseason, Cleveland was able to pick up former MVP point guard Derrick Rose for pennies on the dollar. For Wade, it's the same situation. Rose's contract is for the minimum, which is just over $2.1 million. Wade will make slightly more, reportedly signing a one-year, $2.3 million deal. Their combined cap figure will be around $3 million less than Channing Frye's next season.

During his rookie season with the Heat, Wade made just over $2.6 million. Since then, he has never made less than that in his base salary over the course of a season, marking his new contract in Cleveland a personal record for frugality. Just last season, he made over $23 million with the Bulls.

Next season, he'll make less than a ninth of that. It just goes to show the lengths a player will go in the quest to be a winner.

Wade's motives

For Wade, there are two obvious reasons to take the deal in Cleveland. The first is a chance to contend. The guard is clearly in the fourth quarter of his Hall of Fame career. He wasn't going to win anything in Chicago this season -- he likely wasn't even going to make the playoffs on a rebuilding squad.

With the Cavaliers, he joins the winner of the last three Eastern Conference Finals series. The team swapped stars with the Boston Celtics during the offseason, but they are still in a position to contend this season.

The other reason is the presence of LeBron James. The two have been friends since the start of their careers.

Their friendship helped lead James to the Miami Heat in the first place, when he controversially left Cleveland. They were famously part of the crew that rode a banana boat together one offseason. If Wade had the option to play with a friend, it was a smart option to take, personally. His odds of being both professionally and personally fulfilled improve exponentially with his arrival in Cleveland.