Cavs: One key goal for Dean Wade for 2020-21, if he can stick around

Cleveland Cavaliers big Dean Wade celebrates in-game. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers big Dean Wade celebrates in-game. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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It’s hard to foresee Dean Wade being a regular contributor for the Cleveland Cavaliers, but he could potentially be a decent rotational stretch big option.

The jury is out on Dean Wade in terms of him being able to become a contributor in meaningful minutes for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Wade went undrafted and filled one of the Cavs’ two-way spots in 2019-20, where he did show stretch big potential in his minutes, mostly with Cleveland’s G-League affiliate, the Canton Charge.

With the Charge, Wade did a nice job overall and did play a significant minutes-share, which was a plus for his development. With Canton, Wade had 14.2 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.4 blocks and 0.8 steals in 31.1 minutes per outing.

Wade did not play much with the Cavs, but that wasn’t a shocker, really. In 12 appearances with Cleveland, he had 1.7 points and 1.6 rebounds in 5.9 minutes per game.

If Wade does get some more real opportunities with the Cavs next season, though, perhaps we could see him display the perimeter shooting promise he showed in Canton.

Maybe that will be the case, as earlier this week, Wade’s two-way deal was converted to a multi-year contract by the Cavaliers, as was reported on Monday. Shortly thereafter, Cleveland and free agent Jordan Bell reached an agreement on a deal as well.

Nonetheless, it does seem tough for Wade to have a good chance at getting regular minutes with the Cavs next season, and that’s if he does stick around. Wade’s deal, even while it is reportedly set for three years following 2019-20, is non-guaranteed after 2019-20.

Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor hit on how both Wade and Bell could have “a shot” at making the squad for next season, per Cavs executives, but regardless, it’s another thing for Wade and/or Bell to get meaningful rotational minutes often.

That said, perhaps one and/or both could end up sticking around, as Bell has proven thus far to have good team defensive instincts that have led to viable rim protection in stretches, and he’s somewhat switchable defensively.

Wade’s selling point will be him being able to have stretch big viability in potentially some meaningful burn for the Cavaliers in reserve minutes in relief of Kevin Love. Maybe Wade could help his case with some quality run if the Cavs have a handful of Summer-League-like games in a second “bubble” of non-Orlando teams.

Those/mini-training in Chicago could reportedly happen in September, albeit voluntarily, but with COVID-19 concerns, it’s far from a certainty at this point it would seem that that would happen.

Whether or not that plays out, if Wade can find a way to stick around/possibly get some regular burn with the Cavs in some matchups, what might be a key goal for him for 2020-21?

A key goal for 2020-21 for Wade would be shooting 36.0 percent from three-point land for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

When Wade was on the floor with the Cavs in 2019-20, he seemed to be afraid to hoist open looks from deep, which was something I was not a fan of.

While of course Wade did not get many opportunities, factoring in Kevin Love, Larry Nance Jr. and Alfonzo McKinnie (who often played the 4), Wade is a highly capable shooter from beyond the arc. That’s why that was frustrating in the instances when his number was called in meaningful action with the Wine and Gold this now-past season.

With the Charge, Wade hit 39.9 percent of his 4.6 three-point attempts per game, and in a four-year collegiate career at Kansas State, Wade hit 38.6 percent from deep.

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So, even while I wouldn’t expect him to be knocking on the near-40.0 percent-door in minutes with the Cavs in 2020-21, it doesn’t seem completely unreasonable for him to hit 36.0 percent from downtown.

The 6-foot-9 Wade has a compact stroke, and a high release point, and he could feasibly be a decent spot-up/at times pick-and-pop big and hit fairly open off-the-catch looks from deliveries from Cedi Osman or Kevin Porter Jr.

Again, it will be tough for Wade to stick around, I’d imagine.

He is somewhat capable of switching out on to perimeter players in pick-and-roll coverage, though, and he does have some capability of rising up after a few dribbles in the mid-post to shoot.

Granted, I’m skeptical of Wade being able to stick around with the Cleveland Cavaliers, given the nature of his deal and Cleveland potentially drafting a big such as Dayton’s Obi Toppin or USC’s Onyeka Okongwu, who could play the 4/5 alongside Love.

Those could vary depending on stretch matchups.

I wouldn’t expect Wade to mesh all that well in minutes alongside Andre Drummond, who reportedly fully intends to pick up his 2020-21 $28.8 million player option, really, though. That’s because I’m not sure if Wade would be aggressive enough as a spot-up player in those occurrences.

Plus, McKinnie, though his deal is non-guaranteed, would seem to be a more suitable player in meaningful minutes alongside Nance in the frontcourt with his driving prowess and clear-cut role. Wade is somewhat capable of switching out, but is not nearly the defender of McKinnie on-ball outside if needed.

Anyhow, if Wade is assertive in catch-and-shoot situations in meaningful minutes, though, perhaps he could become a viable rotational big and contribute in some matchups more so in minutes against more perimeter-oriented 4’s.

I’m anything but sure Wade can stick around, but if can be sound defensively in the team/some on-ball sense and is willing to let it fly to help space the floor, this key goal of him hitting 36.0 percent from three-point range seems reasonable for him for 2020-21.

Albeit we’ll have to see what ultimately plays out for Wade, but he does have stretch big potential that maybe Cavs fans will see more of with the Wine and Gold next season.

Next. Kevin Love should play more stretches at the 5 next season. dark

Only time will tell.