Dean Wade, a forward for the Cleveland Cavaliers, has reportedly agreed to a three-year, $18.5 million agreement, as reported by Adrian Wojnarowski on Saturday, via his agents, Austin Walton and Adam Papas. As a 25-year-old undrafted two-way player, Wade is a development success story of the Cavaliers’ rebuild and will contend for a starting role this season.
Wade played in 51 games (28 starts) last season before sustaining a knee injury that required surgery. He averaged 5.3 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 19.2 minutes per game. His absence cost his team 15 wins.
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) September 27, 2022
The 6-foot-9 Wade was helpful as a stopgap starter and was missed by the Cavs in the playoffs. Eight of Cleveland’s final 11 games were losses during the regular season, and the team went on to lose both play-in contests.
However, with Wade in their lineup, the Cavs could be a serious contender again next season after posting a 22-win improvement from the prior year. The Cavaliers get depth, size, and another outside shooter with his addition. In Wade’s last 12 starts, he made 43% (21 of 49) of his 3-point attempts.
In 20 minutes of action during a 112-111 victory over the Atlanta Hawks, Wade recorded his first career NBA start stats of 5 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists. Four days later, in a 112-109 win over the Philadelphia 76ers, Wade played a career-high 27 minutes and finished with six points and a career-high 12 rebounds.
Wade made five 3-pointers and scored 17 points, six rebounds, two assists, and one steal in 31 minutes as the Miami Heat fell to the Indiana Pacers, 114-111, on March 3. Wade had a career-high 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field and 5-of-8 from three-point range, as well as six rebounds, two assists, and a game-high three steals in 31 minutes of action in a 116-109 defeat to the New Orleans Pelicans on April 11. On May 10 against the Indiana Pacers, Wade had his first career double-double, scoring 19 points and pulling down a career-high 12 rebounds in a 111-102 loss.
When Lauri Markkanen opted to follow the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, Dwyane Wade took over as the starting small forward. In a 104-89 loss to the Golden State Warriors on November 18, 2021.
Wade recorded 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field and 3-of-6 shooting from deep, nine rebounds, and a career-high five assists throughout a game-high 40 minutes of action. Wade recorded his second career double-double on 12/15, over the Houston Rockets, with 16 points and 10 rebounds in a 124-89 victory.
After Markkanen went down with an ankle sprain on January 22, 2022, against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Wade was reinstated to the starting lineup. He suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee on March 12 during a game in Chicago and underwent surgery on March 28; as a result, he was officially ruled out for the rest of the season. The Cleveland Cavaliers announced on June 22 that they have picked up Wade’s fourth-year team option, extending his stay with the franchise for another year.