Dean Wade is part of the Cavs’ rookie class, although in a different way than Darius Garland, Dylan Windler and Kevin Porter Jr. He’s also someone who a) probably should be been drafted and b) seems like a the right type of player to be on a two-way deal. So what’s on the line for him as a rookie?
Chris Manning (@cwmwrites): On a two-way deal, Wade soaks up how to play as a stretch-big in the NBA from Kevin Love while thriving with the Charge. Ideally, in a G-League context, he’ll be used as a main part of Canton’s offense while doing a lot of work in the pick-and-roll, with hand-offs and other features of what we expect John Beilein to do with the Cavs. Considering he’s on a one-year deal, the best case for him is that he’s good enough to warrant a spot on Cleveland’s main roster next year, perhaps as a backup who gets some NBA minutes.
Justin Rowan (@cavsanada): Obviously, there are no dreams of Wade being a cornerstone piece for the Cavs. I think your best case scenario is that he plays well enough in Canton that the Cavs feel comfortable enough to give him a shot as a third string center. If that were to happen it probably gives them the flexibility to package Ante Zizic up with one of their expiring players that are shopped this season and improve the return.
David Zavac (@DavidZavac): I suppose Wade’s high-end potential is something close to what Tyler Zeller was hoped to be, a do-everything offensive big man that can stretch the floor a bit off the bench, keep the ball moving, and rebound enough to not be a problem defensively. We’ll see in the G-League if he merits a serious look at playing time moving forward. As Justin says above, perhaps he can be of value by convincing the Cavs that other bigs on the roster are superfluous in this transition period.
CM: Wade doesn’t project as a bust — he’s more of a high-floor, low-ceiling player — so he doesn’t figure to be bad in the G-League. But if things go bad for him, it means he doesn’t look like he’s way better than guys he plays against in the G-League and, for whatever reason, isn’t really showing any flashes of dominance or playing at a level that indicates he’s a future NBA piece. When his contract is up at the end of the year, he doesn’t look like someone who should get a roster spot for 2020-21.
JR: Worst case scenario is that Wade doesn’t appear to be ready for the NBA, is released and will have to work to get another chance the following season. He will then need to either try for another year in the G-League or explore options overseas.
DZ: I don’t know what the expectations are, but I’m sure he could make a decent amount of money in Europe living in wonderful cities. That’s pretty good. I don’t know if he’ll get enough actual time to hurt the Cavs on the floor, but I suppose there’s an opportunity cost to giving him a look as opposed to someone else. If his shooting is real, I don’t know why he can’t play basketball professionally.