Cavs: We could see Dean Wade used more this way next season

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) /

At this point, I feel like I’m becoming the de facto president of the Dean Wade Fan Club. There’s probably other candidates, but either way, I’m sure many Cleveland Cavaliers fans are excited about what’s in store for him next season.

Injuries to Kevin Love and Larry Nance Jr. did objectively play into it, albeit Wade had his share of meaningful playing time last season, and he did a nice job. In Wade’s first season, he played sparingly with Cleveland, and most of his playing time was with the Cavs’ G League affiliate, the then-Canton Charge, and now-to-be Cleveland Charge.

With the Charge, Wade did show stretch big potential, and hit 39.9 percent of his 4.6 three-point attempts per game with Canton. He didn’t get much of a chance to show it with Cleveland in his rookie season, when he was on a two-way deal, though.

Fortunately, the Kansas State product and former undrafted free agent signing following the 2019 draft did again receive his share of playing time last season with the Cavs.

In doing so, Wade had a decent 6.0 points and 3.4 rebounds in 19.2 minutes per outing, and hit a respectable 36.6 percent of his 3.4 three-point attempts per contest.

As the season wore on, Wade, whether or not injuries could’ve factored into it, was a viable contributor, and while his contract from here is non-guaranteed, the Cavs signing him to a multi-year deal last offseason proved to be a wise move.

With next season in mind, I do expect Wade to get his share of chances, too, and that should be the case.

While his catch-and-shoot abilities as a spot-up/ball-swing target were proven last season, and he should get some looks off movement, I do think we could see him utilized as a screener/pick-and-pop threat some more next year.

We could see Wade used more as a screener/pick-and-pop threat by the Cavs next season.

To put it out there, I’m not suggesting we’re going to see Wade close to the rolling usage of say, Jarrett Allen or Isaiah Hartenstein, to stress that first. That’s not going to be the case, as you probably would be saying to yourself reading that as an initial reaction, and to that, I’m with you.

For Wade though, even with him a bit thinner for a 6-foot-10 player at 228 pounds, he is a quality screener, and his timing on those on the perimeter/on the wing is generally on-point for Darius Garland and others.

The frequency for Wade as a rolling shooter, for what it’s worth, was not particularly high at 11.5 percent, and he placed in the 50th percentile in those scenarios, per Synergy Sports. The shot attempts were 0.6 per outing, which again, was not a ton of the time.

That said, Wade has shown flashes of being a capable lob threat after cuts, and he has demonstrated he can be a viable catch-and-shoot at times in the short roll, so perhaps that could be a wrinkle we see a bit more of in spurts from him?

It’s worth considering for Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff and company, at least from my perspective, in some minutes Allen, assuming he is back/eventually locked up, is not on the floor. Along with the lob threat/short roll element in that realm, Wade did display quality cutting and finishing feel on the interior, so that could be another way with some more volume, seemingly, that he could get nice looks in games when he’s in.

As far as the other way, and a way I could foresee Wade having more rolling viability/usage, I could see him being used a bit more, in a general sense, as a pick-and-pop threat, as we mentioned.

Wade again proved to be a legitimate rotational catch-and-shoot player for Cleveland in 2020-21, and with his quick and high release on shots, and with him showing some off-movement shooting ability, I’d think that could pay off for the Cavs.

With some more work behind the scenes with Kevin Love, a polished pick-and-pop player, and Cleveland’s player development staff feasibly, I could foresee Wade establishing himself as a nice pick-and-pop three-point shooting threat more next season.

In that realm, as a roller last season, with the pick-and-pop feel in this regard, Wade did have a 57.9 percent effective field goal shooting clip last season, per Synergy. That was promising, to me, and hopefully that’s a positive trend in relation to his third season, assuming Wade sticks around, of which I’d firmly expect to play out.

Next. Less, but 'more efficient minutes' for Love would be ideal. dark

Moreover, based on the flashes last season in his rotational minutes, we could seemingly see some more of the 24-year-old stretch big as a situational roller and more so as a pick-and-pop player next season for Cleveland.