LeBron says Cavs 'couldn't afford' Wade

Updated: 

LeBron James wanted Dwyane Wade to join him in Cleveland, but the Cavaliers simply could not afford him.

Wade, James' team-mate with the Miami Heat, was a free agent this offseason before ultimately signing with his hometown Chicago Bulls.

James hoped the Cavs would scoop him up, but understood there was one reason why that was not possible.

"We couldn't afford him," James said via ESPN. "It's that simple."

Wade, 34, signed a two-year deal worth $47million in the NBA's now staggering market.

The three-time NBA champion and 12-time All-Star averaged 19 points per game last season, but he has lost a step.

Cavs coach Tyronn Lue admitted the team was interested in Wade because of his impressive resume.

"Who wouldn't be interested in a Hall of Famer?" Lue said, referring to Wade's assumed spot in the Hall of Fame.

"That don't even make sense. Yeah, we wanted him."

Cleveland were already well above the salary cap this offseason with James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson all signed to long-term deals.

Signing Wade would have meant sacrificing one of those players, or depleting the bench.