INDEPENDENCE -- Point guard Isaiah Thomas could be back by January and shooting guard Dwyane Wade's next stop could be Cleveland.
The 5-foot-9 Thomas' injured right hip has made steady progress and he's begun on-court activities, the Cavaliers said Monday just prior to the start of their annual media day.
The Cavs also emerged as one of the favorites -- if not the favorite -- to land the 35-year-old Wade after the three-time NBA champion reached a buyout agreement with the Chicago Bulls.
Wade, who left about $8 million on the table in his buyout with Chicago, can earn about $4 million this season by going back to Miami, while the Cavs and San Antonio, who are expected to be his other primary pursuers, can offer the 6-4, 220-pounder the veteran minimum of $2 million.
Oklahoma City, which has added Paul George and Carmelo Anthony to point guard Russell Westbrook, could also enter the mix.
Wade and James played together for four years in Miami, leading the Heat to four straight NBA Finals and two titles, and many believe their longtime friendship makes the Cavs the favorite to land the shooting guard.
Wade, who also led the Heat to a title in 2006, averaged 18.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists for the Bulls last season. For his career, he is averaging 23.3, 4.8 and 5.7.
While in the twilight of his career, Wade is still talented, but as a driver and mid-range shooter he's a much different player than current Cavs starter J.R. Smith, who is mostly a catch-and-shoot 3-point specialist.
With the Cavs already having big scorers in James, Kevin Love and eventually Thomas, coach Tyronn Lue will need to make some changes in his offense if the 15th-year pro is added and moved into the starting lineup.
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