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D-Wade Is Not The Savior Cavs’ Fans Might Think

It was made official on Tuesday when Dwyane Wade, a 12-time All-Star, signed a one-year contract for the veteran minimum to join the Cleveland Cavaliers for the 2017-18 season. Wade’s signing looks and sounds great on paper, but just because Wade is reuniting with former Miami Heat teammate LeBron James doesn’t automatically make Cleveland the proverbial favorite to win the Eastern Conference.

Also Read: The Cavs have a great chance of winning NBA title

Wade is 35 years old and will turn 36 at midseason in January. He is a shell of the former player that teamed up with James to win two NBA titles in Miami. The 6-foot-4-inch Wade likely will not even start for the Cavs, and head coach Tyronn Lue is going to have to work to find out how Wade actually fits into the Cleveland scheme.

Chicago bought out the rest of Wade’s contract making him available to sign with Cleveland. He will earn $2.3 million for the upcoming season, but will he be worth it? In 60 games with the Bulls last season, Wade averaged a respectable 18.3 points a game and shot 43 percent from the field. The problem with Wade in Chicago is that he brought down the productivity of the team when its best player – Jimmy Butler was on the floor.

One of the big reasons why Wade haunted the Chicago offense is that he can’t shoot the 3-pointer. This has plagued him his entire career. Last year was one of Wade’s best from beyond the arc as he shot 31 percent. Defenders do not respect his shot from 3-point range. With Wade, Butler, and Rajon Rondo on the floor in Chicago, it was a mess since not one of the three could consistently stretch the floor. Is Wade somehow now going to do that in Cleveland?

Cleveland traded for former Boston point guard Isaiah Thomas, who will miss the first half of the season with a hip injury. With everyone healthy, it doesn’t appear that Wade would make a huge contribution to the Cavs. Thomas will be the starter at point guard. James and forward Kevin Love will be joined by some configuration of J.R. Smith, Tristan Thompson, Channing Frye, Iman Shumpert, and Wade.

Smith is a much better and more reliable 3-point shooter than Wade and plays solid perimeter defense, making for some serious live NBA scores. The odd man out is likely Derrick Rose, who will probably start at point guard while Thomas recovers from his injury.

Don’t forget, the Cavs also have Jae Crowder and Kyle Korver, the team’s best shooter. Wade could be a secondary playmaker as a backup point or shooting guard. With guys like James, Korver, and Smith able to stretch the floor, Wade would be given the opportunity to do what he does best. Plus, he wouldn’t have to do it for 20- or 30-plus minutes each night.

The signing of Wade is a worth a shot and could help down the stretch this season. Wade tends to play his best when the stage is at its largest. Still, his signing doesn’t take away the fact that the Cavs lost Kyrie Irving to Boston, the team that won the Eastern Conference last season. With Irving, Gordon Hayward, and Al Horford, the Celtics once again have a great shot at surpassing the Cavs as the Eastern Conference champions.

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