Trade option No. 1 – Dean Wade
Initially, 6-foot-9 stretch forward Dean Wade is a clear candidate for a potential trade package. Wade continues to improve his value across the NBA since joining the Cavs through the G-League.
Wade has a myriad of talents that have helped the Cavs so far. His most natural position has been the power forward, but Dean Wade has proven his aptitude at both the small forward and small-ball center as well.
Throughout the 2022-23 NBA season, Wade was one of the numerous candidates for the starting small forward job. In his 44 games played last season, Wade started in 13 of them, splitting those games at either the three or the four.
Currently, the Cavaliers wing depth is undersized with Strus and Okoro. Thus, Wade will likely play substantial minutes at the three and four spots again this season. He might give the Cavs the size and shooting needed against bigger opponents.
Cleveland signed Niang as a stretch forward this offseason, though, looking to capitalize on Mitchell’s former Jazz teammate’s 40 percent career 3-point accuracy. It is possible that the wing and forward minutes are entirely soaked up by the trio of Strus, Okoro, and Niang with Caris LeVert occasionally serving as a forward as well.
Dean Wade is a valuable role player on any roster, though. Leaving him on the end of the bench night after night would be a waste of Wade’s versatile and adaptive nature. Depending on the Cavs’ situation come the turn of the calendar year, the best-case scenario for both parties might be to include Wade in a larger trade package to improve Cleveland’s short term playoff chances and Wade’s long term growth.
Additionally, Wade’s $5.7 million salary next season makes him an attractive, team-friendly contract in trade negotiations.
Time will tell how Wade fits on this Cleveland roster, but he will no doubt continue to earn his spot in the Association somewhere across the 30 teams.