Dean Wade

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.

Eastern Notes: Butler, Heat, Sixers, Wade, Hornets

Heat star Jimmy Butler is one of six Miami players listed as questionable for the team’s Game 1 against the Sixers on Monday, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel writes. Butler missed Game 5 against the Hawks last week due to knee inflammation, but he still plans to play in Game 1.

Along with Butler, Tyler Herro (illness), Max Strus (hamstring), P.J. Tucker (calf), Caleb Martin (ankle) and Markieff Morris (illness) are also questionable. Starting point guard Kyle Lowry will miss his third straight game due to a hamstring strain.

On the flip side, the Sixers will be without Joel Embiid (mild concussion and orbital fracture). The teams will also meet in Miami for Game 2 on Wednesday before traveling to Philadelphia for Game 3 on Friday.

Here are some other notes from the East:

  • In his latest “Ask Ira” mailbag, Winderman examines whether Doc Rivers set the Sixers up for failure by keeping Embiid on the floor down the stretch of Game 6 against the Raptors last week. The Sixers were leading by 29 points with 3:58 remaining when Embiid was injured.
  • Cavaliers forward Dean Wade has been cleared to return to on-court activities following his meniscus surgery, Chris Fedor of tweets. The Cavaliers lost to the Hawks in the play-in tournament last month, failing to make the playoffs despite a promising season.
  • The Hornets can’t afford to miss on their next move, Roderick Boone of the Charlotte Observer writes. The team is seeking another head coach after firing James Borrego. Boone examines what the club should look for in its next coach, noting that the Hornets are determined to make the playoffs next year.

Central Notes: Ball, Grant, Carlisle, Guy, Wade

Lonzo Ball will be reevaluated this week and “wants to come back and play,” Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago tweets.

A week ago, the Bulls announced Ball would not run for 10 days. His rehab from surgery to repair a meniscus tear in his left knee was halted after he felt discomfort in the knee. Ball’s reevaluation is expected to happen when the team returns from its road trip, which ends on Tuesday. There’s hope Ball can ramp up to full-speed running and cutting after he’s reevaluated.

“Lonzo really wants to come back and play. He wants to do everything possible…,” coach Billy Donovan said. “If we do start ramping up and [he doesn’t respond well again], I don’t know what they’ll do because we have not discussed that.”

Ball has been out since January 14.

We have from the Central Division:

  • Jerami Grant, the Pistons’ leading scorer, will sit out the rest of the season due to a left calf strain, Keith Langlois of tweets. Grant suffered the injury against Washington on Friday. A prime trade candidate this offseason, he has one year remaining on his three-year contract.
  • Pacers coach Rick Carlisle has returned to the sidelines after leaving the team for two games due to personal reasons, James Boyd of the Indianapolis Star tweets. “Felt very bad about not going on that trip because it’s just a hard set of couple games, given our personnel situation. But we’ve got seven (games) left, and we’ve got to focus,” he said.
  • Guard Kyle Guy has rejoined the Cleveland Charge, the Cavaliers’ G League team, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer tweets. Guy was waived by the Heat on Thursday. Guy signed a two-way contract with Miami in mid-January after playing with the Charge. He appeared in 19 games with Miami, averaging 3.9 PPG in 9.8 MPG.
  • Cavaliers forward Dean Wade has a six-to-eight week recovery period from his knee surgery, Kelsey Russo of The Athletic tweets. The meniscus surgery on his right knee will be a cleanup procedure and he should be a full participant in Summer League activities, Russo adds.

Cavs’ Wade Undergoes Knee Surgery, Out For Season

Cavaliers forward Dean Wade has undergone surgery to address the meniscus injury in his right knee, the team announced today (via Twitter). According to the Cavs, Wade will miss the rest of the 2021/22 season.

Shams Charania of The Athletic first reported last Monday that Wade sustained a partial meniscus tear in his right knee and would be out for at least several weeks. It appears the 25-year-old and the team took some time to determine the best course of action for the injury and determined that surgery was the right choice.

Wade, who has been with the Cavs since the 2019/20 season, averaged 5.3 PPG and 2.9 RPG in 51 games (19.2 MPG) for the club this season, posting a .456/.359/.667 shooting line and making 28 starts.

Wade is one of a handful of Cleveland rotation players who have gone down with injuries in 2021/22. Collin Sexton and Ricky Rubio both suffered season-ending knee injuries earlier in the season, while All-Star center Jarrett Allen has been out since March 6 due to a fractured finger. Darius Garland, Caris LeVert, and Lauri Markkanen have all had short-term absences for the team as well.

The Cavs hold a $1.93MM team option on Wade for 2022/23, which they’ll likely pick up as long as they expect him to be available for most or all of next season.

Cavs Re-Sign Moses Brown; Dean Wade To Miss Several Weeks

The Cavaliers have brought back big man Moses Brown on a second 10-day contract, the team announced today in a press release. Brown’s first 10-day deal expired on Saturday night.

Brown, initially signed earlier this month to provide some frontcourt depth with Jarrett Allen sidelined due to a finger injury, appeared in four games during his first 10 days with Cleveland. He averaged 2.8 points and 2.0 rebounds in 6.3 minutes per contest.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Allen – who is taking a non-surgical approach as he recovers from his broken finger – is hopeful of getting back into the lineup within the next three weeks. However, it doesn’t sound like his return is imminent.

Additionally, Charania reports that forward Dean Wade has sustained a partial meniscus tear in his right knee and will be out for several weeks, creating another hole in the Cavaliers’ frontcourt. Wade had been a regular part of Cleveland’s rotation this season, averaging 19.2 MPG in 51 appearances. The hope is that he’ll be able to make it back by the end of the regular season or the start of the postseason, tweets Chris Fedor of

The Cavs will play five games in the next 10 days, starting with a matchup vs. the Lakers on Monday night. Their games on Thursday in Toronto and on Saturday vs. Chicago will be crucial in the race for a top-six seed in the East.

Central Notes: Wade, Cavs, Bulls, Anderson

The Pacers signed swingman Justin Anderson to a 10-day deal on Thursday in part as a response to his efforts with their NBAGL club, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, and to give him a chance to prove he deserves to stick in the NBA going forward, writes Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files. He certainly has his fans around the league.

“I don’t know what else Justin can do at the G League level to prove to teams he deserves to be back in the NBA,” a source that was not Anderson’s agent informed Agness. The 28-year-old previously inked two 10-day deals this season, one with the Cavaliers and another with Indiana earlier this year.

“He’s been the best player on the [Mad Ants],” Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle said, “and probably the best player in the entire [G League]. He’s earned this opportunity, he knows our stuff, he’s kept himself ready. And the one thing about him, he’s appreciative of the opportunity and he’s really fought for these chances to be back in the NBA.”

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • Cavaliers forward Dean Wade, who has already dealt with some inconclusive imaging on his sore right knee, is set to undergo further testing on the knee this week after missing Cleveland’s last three games, writes Chris Fedor of Fedor notes that there is “growing concern” about a meniscus tear.
  • The Cavaliers have exhibited strong mental toughness down the stretch of the regular season as they push for their first postseason berth since 2018, per Kelsey Russo of The Athletic“For us, it’s a mental thing,” head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “Our guys are pretty confident and pretty sound in our schemes. … And if you’re never in this position, you don’t gain that experience. You never are able to figure it out.”
  • The Bulls are struggling to find much of a response whenever opposing defenses opt to double-team All-Star forward DeMar DeRozan, opines Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. “Probably the most [double-teams] I’ve seen in my career, to be honest with you,’’ DeRozan said. “For me, it’s one of those things that we got to figure it out. It’s on me to help the guys figure it out as well… The best way to learn is to be knocked in the mouth like we doing. Now it’s a matter of us responding, letting it click. Once it clicks, we be fine.’’

Central Notes: Warren, Smith, Wade, Bulls

Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle expressed disappointment that T.J. Warren (foot) won’t be playing this season, James Boyd of the Indianapolis Star writes. Warren has been rehabbing from a stress fracture and recently started playing five-on-five in practice.

The 28-year-old hasn’t played at all in 2021/22 and only appeared in four games last season, but he did average 19.8 points and 4.2 rebounds in 67 games in ’19/20. He’ll become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

“He had one of the most challenging years of rehab and trying to bring himself back that I’ve ever seen a player have,” Carlisle said. “He stayed positive. He stayed in the fight the entire time, and he is close. We obviously wish him the very, very best, and we’ll see where it goes from here in terms of when he’ll be back.”

There’s more from the Central Division tonight:

  • Pacers center Jalen Smith suffered a head contusion in the team’s win over the Rockets on Friday, Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files tweets. Smith, who exited the game with roughly four minutes left in the third quarter, finished with an impressive 17 points and 10 rebounds in just 13 minutes off the bench.
  • Cavaliers forward Dean Wade will undergo further testing on his sore right knee, Chris Fedor of writes. Wade will miss his fourth straight game on Saturday and underwent tests that came back inconclusive. According to Fedor, there’s growing concern about a possible meniscus injury.
  • The Bulls have now lost eight of their last 10 games, dropping a 129-102 decision to the Suns on Friday, Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic writes. Chicago (41-29) ranks fifth in the Eastern Conference with 12 games left in the season. “It’s just snowballing downhill,” star guard DeMar DeRozan said. The Bulls were first in the conference standings just three weeks ago.

Central Notes: Cavaliers, Bucks, Pistons, Washington Jr.

Cavaliers forward Lauri Markkanen suffered a sprained ankle on Saturday and multiple sources told Chris Fedor of that “The Finnisher” is expected to miss at least a couple of weeks. Markkanen left the arena on crutches and in a walking boot following Cleveland’s 95-93 win over New York on Monday.

In Markkanen’s absence, Dean Wade returned to the starting lineup. Although Wade has only seen sporadic action this season, appearing in 33 out of 48 games, coach J.B. Bickerstaff has entrusted the 25-year-old big man to be an injury-replacement starter. Wade has started 17 games, with the Cavs holding a respectable 9-8 record in those contests, Fedor writes.

We’re confident we’ve got guys who can fill that spot,” Bickerstaff said. “We will play some more traditional lineups because of who’s available, but the style that we play and the system that we play shouldn’t change much. We’re comfortable with Dean Wade in that position.

He takes care of business every single day. We have a trust in him that we know when his number’s called, he’s going to be ready to go. That’s not easy to do. You see guys who are in and out of the lineup, they have a hard time. He understands where his opportunities are gonna come and the job that he has to do, and what he needs to do to go out and handle that. Obviously, he made big shots for us down the stretch.”
Here’s more from the Central Division:
  • Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton, who’s out for the season following meniscus surgery in his left knee, is making solid progress in his recovery and hasn’t ruled out returning to the court if Cleveland makes the postseason, according to Fedor in a separate article for Sources within the team don’t expect Sexton to be back for a potential playoff run, but they also know not to count him out, as the fourth-year guard is known for having an outstanding work ethic.
  • Eric Nehm of The Athletic provides a trade deadline primer for the Bucks, noting that Milwaukee is limited in potential deals by being a luxury tax team. He believes Robert Covington, Larry Nance Jr. or P.J. Washington could theoretically fit well with the team, but creating the frameworks for those trades is difficult. Goran Dragic, Thaddeus Young, Robin Lopez and Mike Muscala are names to watch on the buyout market, according to Nehm.
  • Rod Beard of The Detroit News explores five things to watch from the Pistons during the second half of the season.
  • Pacers rookie guard Duane Washington Jr., who’s on a two-way contract, set an Indiana rookie record with seven three-pointers in the team’s 117-113 loss at New Orleans on Monday, James Boyd of The Indianapolis Star writes. Washington brings positivity and enthusiasm wherever he goes, according to coach Rick Carlisle. “He has a real grateful vibe,” Carlisle said. “Every day he comes in with a smile on his face, a real positive view of the world in general and he loves to play basketball. He loves to work at being a great teammate, and he plays the game in a very pure way.”

Dean Wade, Two Lakers To Receive Full Salary Guarantees

The Cavaliers intend to retain forward Dean Wade through the salary guarantee deadline, ensuring that he receives his full-season salary, sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link). The decision will lock in Wade’s $1,782,621 cap hit for 2021/22.

Wade, 25, is in his third season with the Cavs. He has been a regular rotation player for much of this season, averaging 5.1 PPG and 3.5 RPG on .432/.329/.769 shooting in 28 games (20.3 MPG). Assuming he finishes the season in Cleveland, the team will have to decide whether or not to pick up his $1,930,681 team option for ’22/23.

A pair of Lakers players will also have their salaries for this season become fully guaranteed, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN, who reports (via Twitter) that guards Austin Reaves and Avery Bradley will remain with the team.

An undrafted rookie out of Oklahoma, Reaves initially signed a two-way contract with the Lakers, then was promoted to the standard roster prior to training camp. He has appeared in 20 games so far, recording 5.6 PPG and 2.5 RPG on .494/.370/.900 shooting in 20.3 MPG. His rookie-minimum salary of $925,258 will now be fully guaranteed, while his ’22/23 salary ($1,563,518) remains non-guaranteed.

Bradley initially signed with Golden State during the offseason, then was claimed off waivers by the Lakers in October after the Warriors cut him. He has been a crucial part of Los Angeles’ backcourt rotation, starting 26 games and averaging 23.8 MPG in 31 total contests. He has put up 6.4 PPG on .425/.394/1.000 shooting while playing solid perimeter defense. He’ll now earn his full $2,641,691 salary, while the Lakers lock in his $1,669,178 cap hit.

Despite hanging onto both Reaves and Bradley, the Lakers still have an open spot on their 15-man roster, having recently traded away Rajon Rondo.

The remaining players on non-guaranteed contracts can be found right here. At least of the players on that list – Jabari Parker and Miye Oni – are reportedly being waived.

Cavaliers Notes: Windler, LeVert, Wade, Allen

The Cavaliers, who have assigned Dylan Windler to the G League to give him some playing time, still believe in the third-year forward, writes Ashley Bastock of Windler has appeared in 17 NBA games this season, but his minutes have declined as injured teammates returned to action. He’s playing just 10.8 minutes per night and averaging 2.8 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists.

“We know who Dylan is and we believe in what Dylan can bring and how he can help this team,” coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “We just have to continue to support him and help him, and giving him those minutes is our way of helping.”

Injury problems have plagued Windler since he was selected with the 26th pick in the 2019 draft. He missed his entire first season with a stress fracture in his lower leg that ultimately required surgery. He made his NBA debut last December and fractured his hand nine minutes into his first game. He later developed pain in his knee and had to again undergo season-ending surgery.
With the Cavaliers in a playoff race this season, Bickerstaff doesn’t have the luxury of working Windler back into the lineup.

“I think it’s good for him to get reps,” Bickerstaff said. “It’s tough when you’re not playing a whole bunch of minutes to kind of catch a rhythm and figure out where your need is. So you lose a little bit of that rhythm. Going out, getting reps gives you that rhythm and allows you to gain confidence and remember what it’s like to play five-on-five.”

There’s more from Cleveland:

  • The Cavaliers should be considered a “strong suitor” for Caris LeVert, whom the Pacers are reportedly putting on the trade block, tweets Chris Fedor of LeVert offers many of the same qualities as Collin Sexton, who has been lost for the rest of the season after meniscus surgery. The front office is looking for upgrades at shooting guard and the team has assets to offer Indiana, Fedor adds, while noting that many people in the Cavs’ organization like LeVert.
  • Dean Wade has been cleared to return from a calf injury he suffered while being kicked during a game, according to Fedor (Twitter link). Wade has been sidelined since November 24, but he may not play tonight because the injury has prevented him from practicing.
  • The Cavaliers have been rebuilding since LeBron James left for Los Angeles, but they may finally have the right combination in place to get back to the playoffs, per Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today (subscription required). Part of the turnaround has been the rapid improvement of center Jarrett Allen, who was acquired from the Nets in a January trade. “It’s leadership,” Bickerstaff said. “He and I had a conversation last year about where I thought he could go, and the job we needed to do to get him there. Coming from where he was in Brooklyn, that wasn’t his role or responsibility, but we knew that moving forward that we were going to need that from him. We knew that was in him.”