Dwyane Wade has recently made his preseason debut for the Cleveland Cavaliers. What does the aging Hall of Famer have to contribute to the Cavs this season?
The reunion of Dwayne Wade and LeBron James is finally here as Flash comes to join his old teammate in Cleveland. The possibility of a Wade-Cavs signing became more and more likely as the summer went on due to an offseason of confusion and new faces in Chicago. In wake of the Kyrie Irving trade and Isaiah Thomas injury, Wade’s most important regular season minutes with Cleveland could come early in the year. We know he brings a big name and finals experience, but what else does the guard give to the Cavaliers new backcourt?
Wade had a solid year last year for the Bulls, averaging over 18 PPG and hitting some big buckets late on occasion. Expect his slashing and scoring ability to carry over to Cleveland where iso ball is encouraged. The problem with the addition is that the Cavs had just recently gotten a guard in Derrick Rose who’s strengths are fairly similar to Wade’s. The biggest problem for Cleveland due to this may be outside shooting in the backcourt. With IT4 out until possibly February, it will be up to Rose, Wade, and Smith to fill in minutes at the guard. J.R. is a marksman, but when he’s not on the floor what shooting do the Cavaliers have to space the floor for LeBron, outside of Korver and Love? Though Wade had a career year last season from 3 (for him) shooting 31%, he’s never been reliable from deep. With the Warriors being able to put 5 guys on the floor shooting over 30% from the arc, Cleveland may still need to make a move for a shooter during the season.
One interesting role Dwyane may have to play for Cleveland early on is playing at the point. He has some experience at the 1 from his early days in Miami with Shaq. As Isaiah Thomas remains out with a hip injury, the Cavs may opt for Wade and Rose to consume all the minutes at PG over giving Kay Felder a chance with a roster of expiring superstar contracts, assuming Felder makes the team. If Wade stays healthy his contributions and presence will only be positive for Cleveland, but it will likely not push them all the way to the top.
17-18 CLE Stats Predictions:
PPG: 16.7 RPG: 3.8 APG: 4.6 SPG: 1.2 BPG: 0.5