Cavs news: If Cleveland were to land Dwyane Wade, he would start and move JR Smith to sixth man
The rumors surrounding a possible Dwyane Wade-LeBron James reunion in Cleveland isn’t going to go away any time soon.
News of Wade’s discontent with where things stand in the Windy City and a cloudy direction of the Chicago Bulls have fueled speculation that the Bulls and the 14-year NBA veteran are on the verge of splitting up. For that to happen this year, however, the Bulls will have to either trade Wade or reach a buyout agreement with the three-time NBA champion.
All things considered, the former option seems to be the least feasible as of the moment; with one-year left on his contract plus his age, it’s incredibly unlikely that there would be any interest from other teams to give up the assets for the services of a 35-year-old two-guard. Wade signed a two-year contract with the Bulls last year, one that carried a player-option for the 2017-18 season.
In any case, a scenario in which Wade lands in Cleveland would mean that JR Smith will have to slide back to a familiar role of being a sixth man. At least this is what some sources have told Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype.
If the Cavs were to land Wade, sources familiar with the situation said they would likely make him a starter and move JR Smith into a sixth man role.
Wade could still contribute significantly well for any team, considering his above-average average of 18.3 points per game across 60 games for the Bulls last season. That’s below his career average of 23.3 points per contest, but he remains a dangerous offensive weapon on the floor.
Smith, on the other hand, has been a fixture on the Cavaliers’ starting lineup since hooking up with Cleveland back in 2014. Out of 164 games played in three seasons with the Cavs, the streak-shooting Smith has started in 157 of them. His play has regressed a bit last season largely due to injuries hampering his performance, averaging just 8.6 points per game on 34.6 percent shooting from the field. He would, however, be a far better fit to start at the other guard position since he complements LeBron James very well with his fiery shooting.
As mentioned earlier, coming off the bench isn’t an alien endeavor for Smith, who won the Sixth Man of the Year award in 2013, while still with the New York Knicks., but it would not make sense to bring him off the bench.