Dean Wade’s 2019-20 season was essentially a member of the Canton Charge before the Cavaliers season was shut down due to COVID-19.
However, from the games he played with the Charge it was quite obvious that Wade could contribute to the Cavs in some facet. Wade’s efficiency from three without being a volume shooter was something that the Cavs could benefit from. Before the season began the Cavs signed Wade to a three-year deal worth about $3.6 million. This was a sign that the organization saw the potential of Wade and was ready to get him on the floor this past season. And man, did they get bang for their buck.
Wade was one of the Cavs’ iron men last season. falling only behind Isaac Okoro in games played this past season. Wade appeared in 63 games and played more games for the Cavs than Larry Nance Jr. (35) and Kevin Love (25) combined.
When Wade was on the floor one thing was very apparent very quickly, he can shoot the three ball. For a team as deprived of three-point attempts as the Cavs were, Wade provided the valuable skill of shot making to the offense. Wade shot 3.4 three-point shot attempts, making 36.6% of his attempts, in the 19.1 minutes he averaged throughout the season. If you want to delve a little deeper in the 19 games where Wade started for the Cavs (30.8 minutes per game) those attempts went up to 5.3 and the percentage also went up to 40% from three as well (via Statmuse).
Offensively, Wade provides the Cavs with a Great Value version of the offense they got when Love was on the floor. Wade uses the pick and pop style/off-ball spacing that Kevin Love has relegated his game to pretty similarly and effectively as well. Wade also showed signs of being a good catch and shoot option when either Garland or Sexton had the opposing defense collapsing. Wade was also very active in his cuts and a good finisher at the rim with a 57.1% from inside the three. As you can see from the shot chart with Wade it was truly either attack the rim or shoot the three. You can tell a lot of his offensive opportunities were off of the pick and roll.
He also showed some signs of promise as someone who could defend the rim reasonably well and had active hands in passing lanes. Considering the Cavs defensively for the most part were a unit of revolving doors, it was a pleasant surprise to see one of our bigs cause a team to hesitate and adjust on a drive or fast break outside of Nance and Jarrett Allen.
The Cavs’ certainly benefited from Wade being on the floor not only because he was by far the most healthy power forward this season. Wade showed great promise as a catch-and-shoot threat and someone who the guards can play effectively off of in the pick and roll. For a player that most fans probably went into the season with zero expectations for, Wade provided a necessary spark whether coming off the bench or in the starting lineup. If the Cavs could find a Wade-level contribution from undrafted guys every year, that would be a win.