Cavs: Dean Wade continues to be effective on both ends

Cleveland Cavaliers bigs Dean Wade (#32) and Larry Nance Jr. (#22) celebrate in-game. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers bigs Dean Wade (#32) and Larry Nance Jr. (#22) celebrate in-game. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

While there are some promising young players that are making their presence felt largely game-to-game for the Cleveland Cavaliers, as a team overall, they have had their share of woes.

Cleveland of course got obliterated by the league-best Utah Jazz on Monday, for one. The Cavs before unfortunately had a buzzer-beating loss at the Sacramento Kings on Saturday, and they had a horrendous second half at the Los Angeles Lakers the night before. LeBron James and Anthony Davis are both sidelined still, and were then in that one, too, clearly, which wasn’t great, either.

On a positive note, though, the likes of Darius Garland and Collin Sexton have still typically done their thing, and though he missed the past few outings because of a concussion, Jarrett Allen looks to very well be Cleveland’s long-term starting 5 answer.

Larry Nance Jr. has been back to his all-around contributing self of late, too, and hopefully, he’s back on Thursday versus the Philadelphia 76ers after missing Monday’s game due to an illness (which was reportedly non-COVID-19 related).

There have been others in the mix that have shown positive signs, too, and two-way guys Lamar Stevens and Brodric Thomas defensively, in particular, have helped some.

A guy that’s been a key bright spot for a solid stretch here, though, has been Dean Wade. Now, Injuries have played into it, in relation to Kevin Love (right calf strain/reaggravation/soreness), for one. And we’ll have to see about Love looking onward/if he can still be a factor for Cleveland, provided he were to perhaps buy into a smaller role.

Anyway, in Wade’s case, he has still given the Cavaliers a lift in his run often, which has been nice to see.

Wade continues to be effective on both ends for the Cavs.

Wade, who played sparingly last season as a two-way guy, but demonstrated stretch big qualities with Cleveland’s G League affiliate, the Canton Charge, has had solid burn recently, and has capitalized on that playing time.

In his last 10 games, he’s knocked in a respectable 35.0 percent of his three-point attempts, which on a volume of 4.0 per outing has been solid in reserve burn I believe. He’s looked to be a viable spot-up threat, has displayed pick-and-pop abilities, and has meshed with either the likes of Jarrett Allen or Larry Nance Jr. at times as his frontcourt partners.

I still would rather have Wade mostly be typically coming in as a reserve in this upcoming slate of games, for the record, though. He’ll still get his share of opportunities, in any case, and has had 22.4 minutes of burn in this past 10 game-slate, for what it’s worth, and he’s had 8.1 points per contest, to go with 3.9 rebounds per game.

He’s also moved well off-ball, aided others as a screener, and at times, can be a lob threat for Cleveland, thanks to his timing in that regard/athleticism over the top.

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Additionally, Wade has been effective for the Cleveland Cavaliers, by and large, in his burn.

Interior defense against bigger 4’s/5’s I wouldn’t say is a strong suit of Wade’s, but he competes, and does a nice job of containing driving threats in that realm still, when the situations present themselves.

His closeouts to shooters, whether those be on-ball or as a rotator, have been mostly sound as well, which has been good to see.

Also, the Kansas State product, thanks to him pretty capable laterally, has, similarly to Nance, held his own in switchout situations on to guards/wings, which I give him his share of credit for. That’s often been the case in those scenarios of late, and has been with him pretty regularly when he’s had burn game-to-game this season.

Moreover, as KJG’s Tyler Shelt recently highlighted, it’s apparent that Wade, who was previously an undrafted two-way signing before last season, has often given the Cavs a spark. That’s been a plus, even with the Cavs’ inconsistencies as a group.

And while Wade’s contract structure in upcoming seasons, not including this one currently, so starting with next one, is non-guaranteed, he could potentially stick as a rotational stretch big.

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With his athleticism and shooting abilities, he has fit in fairly well as an occasional 3 in big lineups, too, which could be another wrinkle here and there looking onward.