This week future Hall of Famer, Dwyane Wade, accepted a buyout from the Chicago Bulls reportedly giving back about $8 millions dollars, of his $23.8 million on the books with Chicago. Wade then cleared waivers & agreed to a 1-year $2.3 million dollar deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The twelve-time All-Star & 3-time NBA champion is reuniting with longtime friend & former teammate LeBron James, in the quest for another chance at NBA immortality- the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Wade posted on twitter stating “In the hopes of pursuing a fourth championship… I will be joining the Cleveland cavaliers this season. There’s no better place to be right now to continue to play and compete at the highest level.”.
“Great! Another All-Star on the Cavs roster”, not so fast my friends! The 35 year old Dwyane Wade in season 15, isn’t the same D-Wade that won the 2006 NBA Finals MVP. His body has taken a toll with his rough & tumble, rim-attacking style. D-Wade hasn’t played more than 70 games since the 2010-11 season & his field goal percentage dropped the last three consecutive years (47%, 45.6%, 43.4%) while his attempts/game have fallen as well (17.5, 16, 15.9). Fewer shot attempts combined with a slumping field goal % isn’t necessarily a recipe for success. Besides all of that, the Cavaliers under former GM David Griffin, tried to surround LeBron James with shooters & emphasize spacing. Acquiring guys like Kevin Love, Channing Frye, Kyle Korver, & JR Smith, the idea was to create a Warriors-esque type of style but to add in LeBron to be able to get the drive-and-kick going. Throwing Dwyane Wade in the mix with newly acquired Derrick Rose & the Cavaliers now have a potential starting backcourt that made just 58 three-pointers last season on 31% shooting for Wade & 21.7% for Rose. Starting? Remember Isaiah Thomas (who was acquired with Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, & a top 5 pick) is still recovering from a hip injury & many believe he won’t be ready until January.
No matter how the Cavaliers decide to mix & match their star-name rotation, I’m not so sure that the addition of Dwyane Wade is anything more than an AAU stud asking for his friend to join the team. Will the Cavaliers win the East? This year, yes. They’ll win somewhere upwards of 60-65 games this season & take both the Eastern Conference regular season & post-season title. The idea is to try to get more offense on the floor than the Golden State Warriors, this move doesn’t do that. The idea is to be able to defend the Warriors more efficiently, the addition of Jae Crowder will help that & D-Wade is a much better defender than Kyrie Irving (Kyrie & Derrick Rose are pretty much a wash on defense statistically speaking), but it’s not enough.
Although I don’t expect Wade to be playing starter minutes, I also don’t expect him to be the guy that gets the Cavaliers their second NBA Championship.
*Statistics via: https://www.basketball-reference.com/