The Cleveland Cavaliers, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowkski, have signed forward Dean Wade to a three-year extension worth $18.5 million. Per cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor, $16.5 million of the deal is guaranteed the other $2 million coming via unspecified incentives.
Cleveland Cavaliers F Dean Wade has agreed to a three-year, $18.5 million extension, his agents Austin Walton and Adam Papas tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 24, 2022
In a tweet, Wade seemed to confirm the deal.
Hey cavs nation… let’s ride!!! pic.twitter.com/3LeQMxXkog— Dean Wade (@deanwade3232) September 24, 2022
Wade, 25, was an undrafted free agent in the 2019 NBA Draft after playing at Kansas State in college. He originally was signed to a two-way deal by Cleveland before signing a multiyear deal with the Cavs. In June, they picked up the option for the final year of that deal. His new deal will keep him in Cleveland through the 2025-26 season.
Wade is one of the key players in contention to start for the Cavs at small forward this season after Lauri Markkanen was sent to Utah in the Donovan Mitchell trade. Last season, he averaged 5.3 points and 2.9 rebounds per game while shooting 64% on two-pointers and 35.9% on three-pointers. He primarily played as a three last season after coming out of college as a four.
For the Cavs, this is a bet at locking in depth now, getting Wade from age 25/26 through age 29/30 as a salary below the mid-level exception. He fills a need as a shooter who can attack closeouts as well and competes on defense. Wade will need to stay healthy and juice his rebounding numbers going forward, but he’s a solid NBA player as is. He’s likely to get rotation minutes this year after the Mitchell trade shuffled the deck. And looking beyond this year, he could theoretically be a bridge to replace help replace Kevin Love’s minutes as Love’s deal expires after this season.
Wade’s salary number, around $6 million, is also tradeable if it comes to that after this year, stackable with other deals to make a trade if it comes to that. But he’s also a depth piece at a fair cost. As the Cavs head into a world with several big salaries on the books, that matters.