Cleveland Cavaliers: 3 takeaways from Dean Wade’s 2020-21 season

Cleveland Cavaliers big Dean Wade shoots the ball. (Photo by David Richard-USA TODAY Sports)
Cleveland Cavaliers big Dean Wade shoots the ball. (Photo by David Richard-USA TODAY Sports) /

There’s been a lot written about Cleveland Cavaliers forward Dean Wade recently, especially here at King James Gospel and for good reason. Most who follow the Cavaliers recognize the value and the contributions Wade’s made to this young and growing team, and KJG’s own Dan Gilinsky expressed why we should be bullish on him looking at next season.

I like to go back and share about his upbringing in Kansas, like I did in my original article, Dean Wade the kid from Kansas…I wrote a few weeks back. But more than just his Kansas background, the appeal that Wade creates by his abilities to grow into an even better ball player is why those that write about him are excited about what he could potentially become for the Cavaliers.

There were three areas that have really stuck out to me as I watched him and the Cavs wrap up another season, in which the young squad struggled mightily and lost a lot of games, due to harping injuries and a surge of bench players that had very minimal experience playing on the big stage of the NBA.

Consistency or lack of it at times in scoring, his aggressiveness needs to improve while on the court, and his defense needs to continue to grow are areas that really stood out this season from him and will need to show growth next season.

I’m all in on Wade and keeping him with the Cavs going into next season. There will likely be a lot of shifting parts over the offseason. What the Cavs do in the draft is also a big part of the puzzle? There are many questions still looming out there with this team but keeping Wade in the mix is a must.

We’ll again touch on the three key takeaways from Wade’s season for the Cavs here.

Now, we’ll get started.

#1: Wade’s scoring inconsistencies for the Cavs

Wade has contributed in the box score with his points, but he’s also adding rebounds and assists. The little things that don’t always get recorded in a traditional box score, like those hustle plays and securing those 50/50 balls is not to be overlooked either. But as to his scoring points consistently on a night in and night out basis goes, that wasn’t exactly a showcase of Wade’s.

If you go back over the last 10 games for Wade, he’s added 12 points one game, 19 points another, 18 points in one more, and 16 points in fourth game. However, he’s also added, one point in a game, five points in two more games, and three points in another two games.

The up and down nature of his scoring has to improve going into next season. In the game against the Washington Wizards, Wade shot four-for-eight from the floor for 12 points, but the night before when the Cavs beat the Boston Celtics, Wade only had one point and was zero-for-two from the floor, even with 28 minutes of playing time.

#2: Wade’s looked far better when he’s been aggressive for the Cavs, but there are instances when he’s hesitated at times

This area is more of a general observation of Wade’s play. Do you ever watch a player and just recognize the talent and know the kid could be even better in the future? That’s how I look at Wade.

He’s really close to going to that next level of play. Often this season, he’d come off the bench and replace Cavs forward Kevin Love. I’m not suggesting Wade is another Love but I will say Wade’s abilities moving forward are very close to being superior.

What Wade does off the ball on the offensive end is important moving forward for him. Wade is a good catch-and-shoot player and showed that this season, off of feeds from Darius Garland, Collin Sexton, Isaac Okoro and others.

But, there were too many opportunities for Wade to take the shot, and you’d hear me screaming at the television going “Shoot it”, because he had the decent look but would naturally pass on the look and dish it to a teammate.

#3: Wade has played solid defense for the Cavs

Wade is a good defender, and it’s probably one of the main reasons he’s in the league. I think it’s his biggest strength and foresee this area only getting sharper.

His ability to stay on his opponent and take away drives along the baseline or prevent the guards from penetrating from the top of the key are very good at this point. Also his ability to smoothly get back in transition defense has prevented many easy buckets by the other team throughout the season.

I always say defense wins games. I know we are talking about the NBA and sometimes that idea isn’t a universally accepted view. But it’s what brings the good NBA franchises their championships.

dark. Next. Should Isaac Okoro make one of the All-Rookie teams?

Wade’s future is bright under the bright lights of the NBA. I’m hopeful he’ll move forward with the Cavaliers. He’s getting better, plus he’s a Kansas kid and Kansas is the home of basketball.