The Cleveland Cavaliers have an excellent general manager running the front office. Some front offices stumble into good teams, perhaps because of NBA Draft Lottery luck or an important free agent choosing their team because of its location. Not so for Koby Altman, who formed this Cavaliers team with his own hands.
At every step of the way Altman has managed the roster, made trades, signed free agents and drafted the right players to turn this rebuild into a contender in just a few short years. While this group was stomped in the playoffs, they gained valuable experience and had one of the league’s best net ratings this season, with a young core set up to contend for years to come.
How did Altman get this team to this place? Let’s break down the six best moves of the Koby Altman era in Cleveland, starting with one of the smallest but still consequential moves.
No. 6: Signed Dean Wade to a contract
Dean Wade went undrafted in 2019 and signed a two-way deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He appeared in just 12 games as a rookie, and while he was good in the G League with the then-Canton Charge, he wasn’t the type of high-scoring player that usually played their way into a full contract.
Nevertheless, Koby Altman saw something in Wade, signing him to a three-year, non-guaranteed contract. Wade proceeded to play 158 games over the next three seasons, starting 60 of them. He has shot a decent 36.2 percent from deep, played excellent defense and largely been a part of wildly successful lineups the past two seasons. He parlayed that play into a three-year extension that will guarantee Wade’s NBA career continues for years to come.