Dean Wade

Injury Updates: Tatum, Herro, Barnes, Langford, More

The Celtics will have star forward Jayson Tatum on the court for tonight’s showdown with the Mavericks, according to Souichi Terada of MassLive.

Tatum was listed as questionable after hurting his left ankle in Monday’s game at Chicago, but coach Joe Mazzulla told reporters that he’ll be able to play without any limitations. Tatum appeared to be moving normally during shootaround, Terada observes.

Tatum is among the early favorites in the MVP race, averaging 30.2 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.6 assists while playing 37.2 minutes per game, the most in his career. He has led Boston to the best start in the league at 13-4.

There’s more injury-related news to pass along:

  • Tyler Herro will return for the Heat tonight after missing eight games with a sprained left ankle, the team announced (via Twitter). Max Strus was downgraded to out due to a shoulder injury, according to Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald (Twitter link).
  • Raptors forward Scottie Barnes will miss tonight’s game with a sprained left knee, tweets Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports. Fred VanVleet is sidelined with an illness, so Toronto is down to 10 available players.
  • Spurs guard Romeo Langford has been cleared to return tonight after missing five games while in the health and safety protocols. Josh Richardson will miss the game after suffering a sprained ankle in Tuesday’s practice (Twitter link), and Zach Collins has been downgraded from probable to out as he recovers from a non-displaced fracture of his fibula (Twitter link). Coach Gregg Popovich sounded optimistic when asked if Collins is close to returning. “Yes, I guess is the answer,” he replied. “He’s just not ready yet. We thought he might be, but he’s not.” Popovich also refused to provide any details about the illness that forced him to miss Sunday’s game, telling reporters, “I’m fine,” Orsborn tweets.
  • Dean Wade, who missed the past six games with knee soreness, will come off the Cavaliers‘ bench tonight and will be on a minutes restriction, according to Chris Fedor of (Twitter link).
  • Nets forward Yuta Watanabe will be sidelined through at least Friday with a hamstring issue, tweets Nick Friedell of ESPN. An MRI taken Tuesday night confirmed the injury (Twitter link), but Watanabe doesn’t seem concerned. “It’s not that serious,” he said. “… It’s day to day. We’ll see how long it takes.” (Twitter link)
  • Mavericks coach Jason Kidd is optimistic that Maxi Kleber, who’s dealing with a lower back contusion, will be available Saturday or Sunday, tweets Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News.

Lamar Stevens Replacing Caris LeVert In Cavs’ Starting Lineup

Lamar Stevens is replacing Caris LeVert as the Cavaliers‘ starting small forward on Friday against the Hornets, according to Chris Fedor of, who hears from sources that the Cavs plan to use Stevens as a starter “for the foreseeable future.”

Stevens’ $1.8MM contract for 2022/23 is non-guaranteed and the Cavs hold a $1.9MM team option on the 25-year-old for ’23/24, while LeVert will be a free agent next summer.

Fedor writes that the move is being made in an effort to rediscover the team’s “lost defensive identity” amid a five-game losing streak. Stevens is a strong, tough and versatile defender, though he has offensive limitations — he has only made 25.3% of his career three-point attempts on low volume.

According to Fedor, forward Dean Wade would have been in contention for the starting small forward job, but he’s currently sidelined with right knee soreness. Friday marks his fourth straight missed game.

Head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said prior to Friday’s game that Wade’s knee was infected and he’s currently taking antibiotics to treat it, per Kelsey Russo of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Just kind of have to wait and let them set in and do their thing. He is progressing, but it’s not something you can control,” Bickerstaff said.

As Fedor notes, Stevens had only appeared in three of the Cavs’ first 12 games for a total of 23 minutes prior to starting in place of the injured Jarrett Allen the past couple games, but clearly Bickerstaff liked the energy Stevens brought. Allen will be back Friday, Fedor adds.

LeVert has mostly struggled since scoring a season-high 41 points against Boston on October 28, averaging just 10.3 points on .389/.281/.733 shooting over his past nine games (32.3 minutes), though he has chipped in 5.1 rebounds and 4.4 assists per night over that span. Moving him to the bench will allow him more on-ball opportunities and let him play his more natural position of shooting guard, Fedor notes.

Cleveland holds an 8-6 record entering Friday’s home game versus Charlotte.

Central Notes: Beauchamp, Nwora, Dosunmu, Mitchell, Bagley

Rookie MarJon Beauchamp has looked ready for his opportunity as he moved into the Bucks‘ starting lineup this week, writes Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Beauchamp played just 12 total minutes in his first six games, but injuries to other players have expanded his role. In Wednesday’s double overtime win at Oklahoma City, he was on the court for nearly 30 minutes, scoring 19 points, and he followed that up with 34 minutes Friday night.

“It’s not a perfect process,” coach Mike Budenholzer said. “It’s hard. He’s probably confused at times and hears probably multiple (things) – hopefully not from me. I would say right now we’re more in the mindset of encouraging him to be aggressive and find ways to impact the game and not just be in the corners (offensively). Because it is going to naturally happen. You’ll get to that and it’s important that you’re good and your footwork in the corners is good and your ability to read closeouts in the corners is good, but he’s also, we feel like can help us and give us more.”

The absence of Khris Middleton and Pat Connaughton has also opened up more minutes for Jordan Nwora, who re-signed with the Bucks shortly before training camp began in September.

“Honestly it’s more just the hustle and effort all around, just playing a lot harder than I have in the years past,” Nwora said. “Not just on the offensive end but on the other side of the ball, running in transition. Not just chucking up shots, trying to find people on offense when I’m playing with those guys (the starters).”

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Last season’s frustrating playoff performance inspired Bulls guard Ayo Dosunmu to improve his game during the offseason, writes K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. The Bucks swarmed DeMar DeRozan during their first-round series and dared Chicago’s other players to beat them from the outside. No one could deliver, as the Bulls shot just 28.3% from three-point range for the series and Dosunmu was 3-of-13. “I always want to get better,” said Dosunmu, who’s connecting at 38.3% on three-pointers this season. “So far I’ve prepared myself being shot-ready at all times. I try to take all the open shots. I try to get downhill, play to my strengths, playmake. But when the three is open, I’ve really been focusing on that.
  • Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell is questionable for Sunday’s game against the Timberwolves due to a right ankle strain, tweets Chris Fedor of Jarrett Allen and Dean Wade are also questionable, and there are concerns that Wade might have bursitis in his right knee (Twitter link).
  • Marvin Bagley III, who suffered a sprained MCL and bone bruise in his right knee during the preseason, could return for the Pistons tonight, according to Keith Langlois of (Twitter link). After playing Friday night for the first time this season, Alec Burks is listed as questionable.

Central Notes: Okoro, Bogdanovic, Pistons, LaVine, DeRozan

Isaac Okoro‘s stint as a starter for the Cavaliers in the absence of Darius Garland was short-lived. After starting the team’s second and third games of the season, Okoro was moved back to the bench for games four and five, with Dean Wade joining Caris LeVert, Donovan Mitchell, Jarrett Allen, and Evan Mobley in the starting five.

Given that the Cavaliers spent much of last season starting three big men, Joe Vardon of The Athletic (Twitter link) wonders if the team could go back to that look even after Garland returns, keeping Wade in the starting five in place of LeVert. However, Chris Fedor of (Twitter link) said he wouldn’t count on that, even before LeVert went off for 41 points in Boston on Friday night.

Okoro’s role, meanwhile, will be worth keeping an eye on. The former fifth overall pick has struggled so far this season, recording more fouls (11) than points (8). He played just five minutes in the Cavaliers’ dramatic overtime win in Boston on Friday.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • The Pistons are tied for last place in the East with a 1-5 record, but they’ve gotten all they hoped for so far from Bojan Bogdanovic, who has been a leader both on and off the court, writes James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. The veteran forward is averaging a team-high 23.0 PPG with a scorching-hot .517/.511/.923 shooting line through six games.“He’s very knowledgable about the game, and he shares his knowledge,” Cade Cunningham said of his new teammate. “He doesn’t hold it to himself. He makes sure that all of us are on the same page. He talks to us a lot. It’s fun to play with a guy like that, one who has a high IQ and cares about winning.”
  • Sopan Deb of The New York Times takes a broad look at the Pistons‘ rebuilding process, or what general manager Troy Weaver calls a “restoration.” As Deb writes, the team is laying promising groundwork, but still has a ways to go before becoming a contender. “Every morning, you want to drink a cup of urgency, and at night you want to drink a cup of patience,” Weaver said. “You’ve got to let it organically happen. And I think a lot of teams, they shortcut the process. They get impatient with process. We won’t do that.”
  • Bulls guard Zach LaVine missed his third game of the season on Friday due to “management” of his surgically repaired left knee, but intends to play on Saturday, per Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. As Cowley relays, head coach Billy Donovan said on Friday that Chicago’s medical staff seems to be getting a better grasp of LaVine’s situation and how to handle it.
  • The Bulls‘ loss to San Antonio on Friday was a disappointing one, but DeMar DeRozan reached an impressive milestone in the game, recording his 20,000th career point, notes Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic.

Caris LeVert Lands Cavs’ Starting Small Forward Job

Cavaliers swingman Caris LeVert has won the competition for the team’s starting small forward job and is slated to remain a starter for the “foreseeable future,” sources tell Chris Fedor of

Third-year wing Isaac Okoro and fourth-year forward Dean Wade were LeVert’s primary competition for the role, according to Fedor, who notes that Cedi Osman, Lamar Stevens and oft-injured Dylan Windler were also vying for the job.

The Cavs think LeVert brings the best blend of offense and defense to complement their young core starters in Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen. Fedor writes that LeVert had a “transformative offseason” as far as conditioning goes, giving him a leg up on the competition.

According to Fedor, the Cavs also “strongly believe” that LeVert, who’s not known for his defense, is capable of defending the top perimeter scorer on rival teams. LeVert has mostly played shooting guard in the past, but has also played some point guard and small forward.

There was some concern that Okoro, who also had a strong offseason and reworked his shot, wouldn’t be enough of an offensive threat, and the hope is that he’ll play with more freedom as a reserve, Fedor adds. LeVert’s ability to break down defenses could make life easier for Garland and Mitchell, though his shooting is a little shaky.

Wade, who suffered a sprained right ankle during preseason, says he’s recovered from the injury and ready to play in tonight’s season opener at Toronto, Fedor tweets. Wade signed a three-year, $18.5MM extension last month to remain with the Cavs until 2026.

Cleveland acquired LeVert from Indiana in February ahead of the trade deadline, giving up a lottery-protected first-rounder (it didn’t convey in 2022 and is still lottery-protected this season) and swapping an early second-round pick (used on Andrew Nembhard) for a late one (the Cavs selected Luke Travers, who’s being stashed in Australia). The Cavs also gave up Utah’s 2027 second-rounder in the deal.

2022/23 is a big season for both LeVert and Okoro. LeVert is in the final year of his contract and will be extension-eligible until the end of the league year, while Okoro is eligible for a rookie scale extension next summer.

Cavs Notes: Mobley, LeVert, Mitchell, Wade, Gibson

The Cavaliers will open the season with three 2022 All-Stars – Donovan Mitchell, Jarrett Allen, and Darius Garland – on their roster, but it’s a fourth player who may ultimately determine how far the team goes, in the view of head coach J.B. Bickerstaff.

As Kelsey Russo of The Athletic details (via Twitter), Bickerstaff identifies second-year big man Evan Mobley as a crucial ceiling raiser for the franchise. As Bickerstaff explains, among the Cavaliers’ core players, Mobley is the one who still has the most room for growth.

“Without trying to put too much on him, he is the guy who can help take us to the next level,” Bickerstaff said. “We understand the value of the guys who have done it, right? Darius has been an All-Star. Jarrett was an All-Star. Donovan has been an All-Star. (Caris) LeVert, Kevin (Love), like we understand and have an appreciation for those guys.

“… His skill set and tools can help take us to the level where we want to go. And the expectation that it happens overnight, probably not. But I expect from year to year, and month to month, you’re going to see improvements from him because that’s who he is.”

Here’s more on the Cavs:

  • Caris LeVert feels as good as he has in years, following a “transformative” summer that saw him reevaluate everything from his diet to his workout regimen, per Chris Fedor of LeVert said he battled some nagging injuries last season and during the summer, but finally feels fully healthy entering the fall. As Russo writes for The Athletic, LeVert wants to prove to the Cavs that his down year in 2021/22 was a fluke.
  • Improved conditioning and an attention to detail are keys for Donovan Mitchell as he attempts to show this season that he can be a reliable defensive player, Russo writes in a separate story for The Athletic. “It’s not the ability,” Mitchell said this week. “I can play defense. I know that for a fact. I haven’t shown that and that is what I’m looking forward to doing here.”
  • Dean Wade‘s three-year, $18.5MM contract extension features cap hits of $5,709,877 in 2023/24, $6,166,667 in ’24/25, and $6,623,456 in ’25/26, Hoops Rumors has learned. Wade’s third-year salary is currently only partially guaranteed for $4,623,458, but that figure will increase if Wade meets certain performance-based criteria in the next three seasons — he can boost the third-year guarantee by up to $666,666 per year, based on three separate achievements worth $222,222 apiece.
  • Former Cavaliers guard Daniel Gibson will be working this season with the Cleveland Charge, the team’s G League affiliate, tweets Chris Fedor of Gibson’s exact title and role are unclear.

Central Notes: Turner, Pacers, Hayes, Bogdanovic, Cavs

Pacers center Myles Turner addressed the trade rumors surrounding him, saying he’s “numb” to the chatter, Wilson Moore of the Indianapolis Star writes.

“This is the only time I will be addressing it this year; I want to make sure everyone knows that,” Turner said. “Yeah, elephant in the room. For me, this is my eighth season. I’ve been in trade rumors the past four or five years. It’s something that I know that I’m numb to. It’s something that it’s just whatever comes with this business. There are no hard feelings in this business. You have to take the emotions out of everything, and I’ve learned that at a young age, and I still hold true to that. My job is to come in here and help these young guys now, man.”

Turner’s expiring contract carries a cap hit of $18MM.

We have more info regarding the Central Division:

  • Pacers coach Rick Carlisle plans to use his bench extensively this season, according to Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files. He’s pondering a rotation of 10 or more players. “We’re going to use our depth as an advantage, we’re going to use it as something to drive our development internally every day,” he said.
  • Pacers president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard said next offseason will be pivotal during the franchise’s rebuild, he told Evan Sidery of Basketball News. “Look, we have three first-round picks it looks like next year,” he said. “We have close to $30 million in cap space. And we’ll be active to use that cap space to acquire more assets. That’s just natural, but I think it gives us the ability to pivot in a lot of different ways.”
  • Killian Hayes needs to improve his shooting to be in the Pistons’ long-term plans. He spent the offseason altering his shooting motion, according to James Edwards III of The Athletic. “I’m confident in my shot,” Hayes said. “I worked with different shooting coaches. We tweaked some things. I’m excited.” The former lottery pick has shot 37.4% from the field and 26.8% from long range during his first two NBA seasons.
  • Bojan Bogdanovic is officially a member of the Pistons and the veteran forward is thrilled with the direction of his new team, Mike Curtis of the Detroit News writes. “I kind of knew that I was going to be traded. I was just waiting to see where I’m going to end up,” Bogdanovic said. “Super excited to be here with this young group of guys and a coach that is really experienced. Everything is great so far.”
  • Cedi Osman, Dean Wade, Isaac Okoro, Caris LeVert, Lamar Stevens and Dylan Windler are all vying for the small forward starting job with the Cavaliers, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes. “We’ve gone back and forth on that, I’ll be honest with you guys,” coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “But we’re gonna give it an opportunity and see exactly what works best and what is the most troublesome for defenses.”

Dean Wade Signs Three-Year Extension With Cavaliers

SEPTEMBER 27: Wade’s extension is now official, the Cavaliers announced today (via Twitter).

SEPTEMBER 24: The Cavaliers will sign forward Dean Wade to a three-year extension worth $18.5MM, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Wade, who will make $1.93MM this season, had been on track to become a free agent next summer, so the extension will begin in 2023 and will keep him under contract through the end of 2025/26. The agreement was confirmed by Wade’s agents, Austin Walton and Adam Papas, according to Woj.

Wade, a 25-year-old small forward, has been with Cleveland for the past three seasons after earning a two-way contract in 2019. Much of his first year was spent in the G League, but he has been a part of the rotation the last two years and may be in contention for a starting spot heading into training camp.

Wade appeared in 51 games last season, making 28 starts, and averaged 5.3 points and 2.9 rebounds while shooting 45.6% from the field and 35.9% from three-point range. He underwent meniscus surgery in March, but he was cleared to resume basketball activities in early May.

The extension fully guarantees Wade’s contract for the upcoming season and gives Cleveland 14 players with guaranteed deals, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN.

Central Notes: Sexton, Osman, Windler, DeRozan, Ingles

If the Cavaliers resolve their contractual differences with restricted free agent Collin Sexton, it will likely impact another player on a guaranteed contract, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes in his latest mailbag. Adding Sexton would put the team one over the 15-man roster limit.

The Cavaliers would prefer not waive Lamar Stevens and Dean Wade, who are on non-guaranteed deals. Instead, the team would likely look to move either Cedi Osman and Dylan Windler, perhaps in a trade with an asset or two attached to a team like Indiana or San Antonio, who have cap space.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • DeMar DeRozan felt the Bulls weren’t “ready for adversity” last season when injuries piled up, he told Draymond Green on his podcast (hat tip to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago). “We kind of fell apart. We lost ourselves obviously through health,” he said. “Regardless, I think I told one of the young guys after All-Star break, I said this is the moment when you see what teams are serious. He didn’t know what I meant by that. For us to hit the wall that we hit showed that we wasn’t ready for adversity.”
  • During the same podcast, DeRozan spoke of how criticism aimed at the Bulls for engineering a sign-and-trade with San Antonio fueled his highly productive season. He averaged a career-high 27.9 PPG. “My whole career has kind of been based off that (criticism). But I never let it bring me completely down. It knocked me down. But I got back up,” he said. “And for me, that moment of going to Chicago, I just told myself, ‘This is a new opportunity. I’m going to make the most out of it in every type of way.’”
  • The Bucks had plenty of other options with their taxpayer mid-level exception. So why did they choose Joe Ingles, who is recovering from a torn ACL? According to Eric Nehm of The Athletic, they felt Ingles was the most complete player available to them.

Cavs Exercise Dean Wade’s 2022/23 Option

The Cavaliers have exercised their team option on forward Dean Wade for the 2022/23 season, league sources tell Kelsey Russo of The Athletic (Twitter link).

The decision was an easy one for the Cavs, since Wade’s option is worth just $1,930,681 and remains non-guaranteed even now that it has been picked up. That means Cleveland could waive the 25-year-old later in the offseason without being on the hook for his 2022/23 salary.

However, Wade appears to have earned a spot in the Cavs’ plans for next season. He has been a regular rotation player for the team during the last two years, averaging 5.7 PPG, 3.2 RPG, and 1.1 APG on .441/.363/.725 shooting in 114 games (19.2 MPG) during that stretch. While those numbers won’t earn him All-Star consideration, they’re solid for a reserve on a minimum-salary contract.

With Wade’s option exercised, the Cavs now have nine players on guaranteed salaries for next season and two (Wade and Lamar Stevens) on non-guaranteed deals. Even if the club brings back all 11 of those players and re-signs Collin Sexton, there will be multiple spots to fill on next year’s 15-man roster.

Our team option decision tracker can be found right here.