Dean Wade has a complicated relationship with the Cleveland Cavaliers and their fans. On the one hand, his advanced metrics are always solid and he looks like the perfect fit in a number of successful lineups. On the other hand, he seems to miss shots in big moments and loses the trust of fans and the coaching staff all too quickly.
If the Cavaliers don’t want Wade, however, there are plenty of other teams that would. Even with his shot still inconsistent his form looks good, and he isn’t going to be ignored on the perimeter. His size (6’9″ if not more), rebounding and defense make him an ideal role player for most any team.
Wade is also on a bargain contract, in the first year of a three-year, $18.5 million deal. That’s a pittance for a two-way combo forward, the type of 3-and-D role player that often makes twice that on the open market. There is a level of consistency Wade hasn’t yet reached, which is why his time in Cleveland has been up and down, but he fits the bill for the kind of player who teams love to buy low on.
If the Cavaliers want to get a more proven option on the wing, someone like Dorian Finney-Smith or Gary Harris, trading Dean Wade would be a way to match salary and inject value into the deal, likely reducing the haul of draft picks necessary to pull off the transaction.
Does that mean the Cavaliers should trade Dean Wade? That’s a very different question. They may already have in-house the kind of player they are trying to trade for, but at the same time, it may just not work out for Wade in Cleveland. A new home may be the best way for the Cavs and Wade to take the next step.