Nos. 2 & 3 – Georges Niang and Dean Wade
At the backup power forward spot, J.B. Bickerstaff will have to make a choice between two former collegiate rivals, Georges Niang and Dean Wade. After last year’s trade deadline, the Cavs chose to increase Wade’s role on the team as the successor to Kevin Love.
In the wake of Love’s exit from the Cavaliers, Wade’s production severely underwhelmed. After the Cavaliers bought out Kevin Love in February 2023, Wade was expected to serve in his role immediately as a stretch big who can play center in a small ball lineup as well as a power forward. Instead, Wade only shot 26.5 percent from deep after Love’s departure.
By signing another 3-point shooting forward in Niang, Dean Wade’s spot on Cleveland’s rotation will seemingly be up for debate again. Wade failed to prove himself in his return from a shoulder injury, but the possible upsides of Wade could make him a high-level role player for the Cavs.
In a perfect world, both players can easily coexist. Wade has a more versatile playstyle than Niang, as Wade has shown himself capable at the three spot as well as the four. Niang, on the other hand, does not have the footwork and speed to play much time anywhere other than the power forward. Either way, though, Wade and Niang will be earning their minutes against one another.
Each one will be studied closely by Cleveland’s coaching staff to test their consistency from deep and defensive impact. Both players have numerous ways to positively produce for the Cavs, but they will no doubt be compared against each other by Bickerstaff to start the season.
Finally, this Cavalier not only needing to prove they are worthy of a large role in Cleveland but will need to prove themselves worthy to be off the trade block.