Dwyane Wade believes he’d be on the Cavs even if the team didn’t trade away Kyrie Irving, but he adds that the addition of Jae Crowder had an impact on his decision to come to Ohio, as he tells Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com.
“I definitely feel that the trade, for me, one of the most important parts of the trade was getting Jae Crowder as a defender,” Wade said. “Somebody who can guard multiple positions, that was huge for Bron, myself, J.R. Smith), guys like that. Because if you look at it when Kyrie was here and you’re looking at the roster, I was like if you go there who’s gonna guard, you don’t want to be a 35-year-old having to guard everybody every night? And you don’t want Bron to do it. I definitely think with Jae coming here, it was a bigger nudge.”
Cleveland started it’s offseason with controversy, failing to retain GM David Griffin and having Irving’s trade request dominate the news for weeks. While these events were happening, Wade was stuck in Chicago, as he didn’t reach a buyout agreement with the Bulls until just late last month. Would Wade be elsewhere had he been a free agent earlier in the summer? The 15-year veteran isn’t sure.
“I don’t know. I think it definitely came together at the right time,” Wade said. “I think if I would have gotten bought out then, I don’t know. Things could’ve been different for me, so, you’re right. This wasn’t nothing I always said to myself, ‘oh, if I get bought out I’m going to Cleveland.’ It was not predetermined. To me it was the best situation. Maybe at a different time other situations might’ve looked a little bit more appealing.”
Wade added that his longtime friend LeBron James isn’t carrying over any of the negative energy from the team’s offseason events into the upcoming campaign. The 35-year-old continued on the topic of LBJ, telling Vardon how the duo’s current stint will be different than the one in Miami.
“The hardest thing with him coming to Miami maybe that first year was coming to a team that was my team,” Wade said. “And he didn’t want to step on toes in a sense. Obviously his greatness as a player and everything he brought to the table gained him an unbelievable amount of respect from everybody. But just vocally at first, he kind of, you know, didn’t say much and kind of let myself and (Udonis Haslem) lead until we let him know that we needed his voice more. And he got comfortable then.
“Here, this is LeBron James’ show. As Cleveland goes, whatever it’s been the last three years it’s been obviously Kyrie and LeBron, it’s been LeBron coming back here to put this organization where it is right now. This is his comfort and he understands and knows what his voice means to each guy here, to the coaching staff, to everybody. He doesn’t stay quiet, he uses it. In Miami he understood that sometimes it’s a little different culture, his voice may not be impactful. Once he realized that he didn’t say as much all the time.”