Early Tuesday afternoon, Dwyane Wade agreed to link back up with his former teammate, and current best friend, LeBron James. Wade took less money than expected, as he will be earning just $2.3 million dollars next year. Wade will be slotted into the starting lineup, replacing the current starting shooting guard for the Cavaliers, J.R. Smith. Smith, although not a terrible player, was by far the weakest player in the Cleveland starting lineup, averaging just 8.6 points per game last season on under 35% shooting from the field. Dwyane Wade on the other hand, averaged 18.3 points per game on 43.4% shooting from the field. A 9.7 point difference and 8.4% field goal percentage difference, Wade is obviously the superior guard and brings a championship presence that may be unmatched in this league. A three-time NBA champion, two of his championships were won alongside new teammate, LeBron James.
Now let’s take a look at how Wade will fit with this Cavaliers team. We already know that there shouldn’t be any problems with sharing the ball, due to the fact that he has shared the ball with not only LeBron James, but Shaquille O’Neal and Jimmy Butler. All of which he developed friendships with and had success on the court (except Butler, but that obviously wasn’t their fault). However, Isaiah Thomas may see a drop in his shot that he’s not used to. Ever since Thomas developed into the scoring machine that he is today, he has gotten whatever shot he wanted and was the first option on the team. Isaiah was an avid fan of Al Horford coming to Boston, and although that didn’t end up affecting him, I’m sure he assumed he would be taking a lot fewer shots.
Kevin Love on the other hand, will also be dropping a notch in the offensive system which in my mind, may actually help him. If Love can decide that he doesn’t care about the shots he gets, and only worries about contributing on the defensive side of things, we will see his game take great strides. Now on to whether or not they can compete with the Warriors. Although the addition of Dwyane Wade was huge for this Cavaliers team, I still don’t see an advantage against Golden State. Kevin Durant and LeBron James basically offset each other, Stephen Curry is clearly better than Isaiah Thomas at this point in their careers, Klay Thompson is better than Dwyane Wade, and Draymond Green has a clear advantage over Kevin Love. I guess you could give Tristan Thompson the edge over Zaza Pachulia, if that matters at all. So with all of that said, Dwyane Wade was a great addition for the Cleveland Cavaliers, but they’re still not on the same level as the Golden State Warriors.