They’re Back! The Wade and LeBron Duo Returns
The rise of the Super Team continues. From Oklahoma City to Houston, NBA superstars are forging alliances and now the originators have finally decided to show these new cats how it’s done. The modern era’s original super team was the South Beach Big Three: Miami Heat’s LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade. Years later, LeBron is a champion in Cleveland and it’s Dwyane Wade’s turn to make the decision to join forces. Dwyane Wade is officially a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and he is joining a roster with enough depth to have been an All-Star team in 2010.
Wade is joining the Cavaliers, but his fit remains unclear. Especially because Cleveland looks like a completely different team than last year. Trading away Kyrie Irving, the Cavs picked up point guard Isaiah Thomas and forward Jae Crowder. They also signed free agent point guard Derrick Rose. There are actually a lot of question marks on this roster now. Even though Wade is a superstar, the Cavaliers have to be worried about his age. Going into the season with a ripened 35 years of life under his belt, Wade is no spring chicken. According to Basketball Reference, last season in Chicago Dwyane Wade had his worst scoring and assist season since his 2003 rookie campaign. No one can claim that Wade did not have enough opportunities in Chicago because he was one of the only real options on the Bulls last season. Luckily for Cleveland’s fans, Wade will not be relied upon to do too much heavy lifting now that he’s out of Chicago and GarPax’s state of limbo.
“There's no better place to be right now to continue to play and compete at the highest level," said Wade in a statement after the signing (according to Adrian Wojnarowski). He’s right. If a player wants to get to the NBA Finals there are really two teams to go to. If he went to Golden State, Wade would have to deal with a lot of backlash, so Cleveland was the perfect spot for him. The Eastern Conference is essentially a walkthrough for the Cavs and Wade will be able to rest as much as he needs for the NBA playoffs.
One would guess that Dwyane Wade would be the starter. There is a bit of a logjam in Cleveland’s backcourt though: Wade, Thomas, Rose, JR Smith, Kyle Korver, and Iman Shumpert will all be vying for playing time. Thomas is injured and likely out until at least December. If the season started today, the starting two guards would likely be Dwyane Wade and Derrick Rose. Even JR Smith weighed in on the competition:
"I'm not going to get into a blank measuring contest with Dwyane Wade," he said, according to Ben Axelrod of WKYC on twitter. "I'm not gonna win that." Maybe there is some trouble in paradise. Smith’s comments show he may not be the happiest with the signing. What is undeniable is that the Cavaliers are built to compete. Even though Kyrie Irving has taken his talents to Boston, the Cavaliers have veteran experience and depth. Wade just adds to that. He is a champion that already has a rapport with the best player in the universe. This deal will end up paying dividends for the Cavaliers in their quest to become NBA champions again.