The Cavs’ roster this season was stacked with depth even before Dwyane Wade elected to sign with the defending Eastern Conference champions for the veteran’s minimum on Wednesday. The 35-year-old shooting guard was let go by the Chicago Bulls after reportedly agreeing to forfeit $8 million of his $23 million player option that he opted into earlier this summer.
While there is no questioning the fact that Wade can still be a valuable contributor at this stage of his career, his presence in Cleveland creates even more of a logjam for head coach Ty Lue to manage. What exactly will Wade’s fit be in Cleveland? Let’s examine the Cavs depth chart and early practice lineup to try to piece together Lue’s plan.
Cavs depth chart
Guards: Derrick Rose, J.R. Smith, Wade, Isaiah Thomas (injured), Iman Shumpert, Jose Calderon, Kay Felder, John Holland
Wings/stretch bigs: LeBron James, Jae Crowder, Kyle Korver, Jeff Green, Richard Jefferson, Cedi Osman, Channing Fyre
Bigs: Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, Ante Zizic, Edy Tavares, Kendrick Perkins
Cleveland’s second unit might have more talent than a few teams in the Eastern Conference this year. Altogether, the Cavs have 18 players signed to guaranteed contracts along with a couple former Celtics (Kendrick Perkins, John Holland) on training camp deals. Felder and Tavares are both candidates to be cut or traded, likely the latter since the Cavs will be paying the repeater tax this year and will want to avoid paying dead money.