The Cleveland Cavaliers will likely be without forward Dean Wade on opening night.
Per cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor, Wade is dealing with an illness that caused him to miss the last two days of practice. Wade, per Fedor, did not travel with the team to New York City where they face the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday.
Wade joins Jarrett Allen on the sidelines to start the 2023-24 season. Allen has missed the entire preseason with a bone bruise in his ankle and, while he hasn’t been officially listed as out, has not practice. With no Wade as an option to start in Allen’s place, it’s likely that Damian Jones will join Evan Mobley, Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland and Max Strus in the starting five. It could also mean extra minutes for Georges Niang, as well as Isaac Okoro, off the bench with one forward option unavailable.
Wade, 26, was one of the standouts in preseason. After a shoulder injury derailed his 2022-23 season, he looked healthy and like someone who would play a real role for the Cavs this year. That is still likely — this illness isn’t something that’s going to keep him out for an extended period of time — but it’s a bummer for Wade to have to miss the first regular season game of the season after a strong preseason where he looked like the best version of himself.
Last year, Wade appeared in 44 games, averaging 4.7 points and 3.4 rebounds per game while shooting 41.2% from the field and 35.4% from three.