Dwyane Wade

Central Notes: Bucks, Wade, Pacers

The Bucks haven’t announced how they plan on utilizing recently acquired point guard Eric Bledsoe but incumbent starter Malcolm Brogdon is fine with whatever option they choose, Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes.

Starting you automatically get into your rhythm faster,” Brogdon, now in his sophomore season with the Bucks, said. “Coming off the bench you’re colder, it can be harder at times. But I’ve done both and I’m going to do whatever this team needs me to do.

Through the first nine games of the season, the reigning Rookie of the Year has averaged 16.2 points and 4.9 assists per game for the Bucks. If Brogdon ends up with a reduced number of minutes and/or touches, however, those would inevitably decline.

Even if the addition of Bledsoe doesn’t impact Brogdon substantially, the acquisition could impact current Bucks backup point guard Matthew Dellavedova.

We’ll see how it goes, but [with] shorter minutes everybody should be able to go harder and do it on both ends,” Dellavedova said. “We’ve been scoring a lot of points; we need to get some stops.”

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • The decision to play Dwyane Wade off the bench has paid off for the Cavaliers, Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com writes. The veteran guard’s production has risen across the board compared to his previous stint as a starter with his new club.
  • The Pacers have lost four straight contests, the most recent resulting in a closed-door team meeting, Clifton Brown of The Indianapolis Star writes. Per point guard Cory Joseph, the contents of the meeting will stay internal. How the club handles the recent adversity will serve as a test of character for the young franchise.
  • The Cavaliers can’t expect Isaiah Thomas‘ eventual debut to fix all the team’s issues, Dave McMenamin of ESPN writes. “IT is definitely a big piece of what we want to do, but IT hasn’t stepped out on the floor in a Cavs uniform yet,” LeBron James said. “We know what he’s capable of doing, but he hasn’t played with us, so we don’t want to put that type of pressure on him, even though he loves it.

Cavaliers Notes: Bledsoe, Okafor, Wade, Irving

The Cavaliers were among the teams mentioned when the Eric Bledsoe trade request first went public, but Cleveland should pass on the Suns guard, writes Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. In response to a reader’s question, Vardon says Bledsoe doesn’t solve the Cavs’ need for shooters and his desire to start would muddle an already crowded backcourt.

Bledsoe shot 43% from the floor and 34% from 3-point range last season and wouldn’t stretch opposing defenses the way the Cavaliers need. Bledsoe and LeBron James were workout partners this summer, so they have a connection, but Vardon doesn’t expect Cleveland to offer any significant assets. Phoenix is looking for young talent and valuable draft picks, and apart from Brooklyn’s unprotected first-rounder, the Cavs don’t have much to offer in those areas.

Sources also tell Vardon the team isn’t interested in Sixers center Jahlil Okafor.

There’s more today out of Cleveland:

  • Dwyane Wade won’t rejoin the starting lineup before Isaiah Thomas returns from his hip injury, Vardon adds in the same piece. With Derrick Rose at point guard, the Cavaliers need J.R. Smith starting beside him to provide a 3-point threat. Smith is averaging 5.2 points in nine games this season and struggling with his shot, hitting just .209 from long distance, but he has a history as an effective 3-point shooter. Wade, who hasn’t been much better at .222, started three games at the beginning of the year before asking to be moved to a reserve role.
  • Cleveland hasn’t figured out how to handle the loss of Kyrie Irving, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN. Irving played a key role in winning three straight Eastern Conference titles and posted a career-best 25.2 points per game last season to go with 5.8 assists. He gave the offense an explosive quality that has been missing so far this year. “One thing I did notice at Miami, teams were afraid of us a little bit,” Wade said in comparing his old Heat teams with the Cavs. “Ain’t nobody afraid. Maybe at some point it will get there, but not right now. Everyone’s playing free, it’s early in the year, and everything’s going right for everybody but us. And we’ve got to figure it out.”
  • Coach Tyronn Lue has expressed a desire to “play with pace,” but Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com isn’t convinced that’s the best approach for the NBA’s oldest team.

Central Notes: Shumpert, Wade, Stephenson, Bucks

Iman Shumpert, whom the Cavaliers spent most of the summer trying to trade, was in the starting lineup for Saturday’s loss at New Orleans, notes Dave McMenamin of ESPN. The move was necessitated by injuries, as Derrick Rose continued to be unavailable with a sprained left ankle.

Rose wants to remain in the lineup once he returns, writes Jason Lloyd of The Athletic, and he was concerned he might have to sit out today’s game if he played Saturday. Coach Tyronn Lue recently moved Dwyane Wade and Jae Crowder to the bench and didn’t want to disrupt their new roles, so he called on Shumpert. The Cavaliers have used four different starting lineups in six games.

There’s more this morning from the Central Division:

  • Cleveland’s reported interest in Suns guard Eric Bledsoe is the latest sign that the addition of Wade isn’t working out, states Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Wade, who asked to be removed from the starting lineup this week, is averaging 8.6 points through five games and is shooting just 43% from the field. Winderman suggests that Wade’s friendship with LeBron James blinded the Cavs to the reality that Wade can’t produce at an elite level anymore.
  • Pacers swingman Lance Stephenson hasn’t lost confidence despite a terrible start to the new season, relays Mark Montieth of NBA.com. In a reserve role for the high-scoring Pacers, Stephenson is averaging 6.2 points per game and shooting just 27% from the field, 13% from 3-point range and 38.5% from the free throw line. “I’m going to keep shooting,” said Stephenson, who came back to Indiana late last season after spending time with the Hornets, Clippers, Grizzlies, Pelicans and Timberwolves. “My confidence is never going to go down. In practice I don’t miss, so it’s probably just mental. A lot of rushed shots. Just stay poised and don’t get out of it. Bring it every game. I haven’t lost my confidence at all.”
  • When Myles Turner returns from the concussion that has sidelined him since opening night, Pacers coach Nate McMillan is considering using him together with Domantas Sabonis, Montieth writes in the same story. The move would put the team’s two best rebounders on the court at the same time. “It gives us some size, it gives us some versatility,” McMillan said. “We’re big, but we still have the speed and athleticism to defend and run our sets. “I look forward to getting to that as much as possible.”
  • Bucks guard Matthew Dellavedova is trying to use his experience to bring chemistry to a young team, notes Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times.

Central Notes: George, Pistons, Oladipo

While Pacers fans didn’t get a revenge win over Paul George‘s Thunder, they did gain some insight into the All-Star’s decision to force his way out of Indiana. Scott Horner of The Indianapolis Star curated a handful of interviews that George has given since his departure.

In one media scrum, George mentions that he felt that the team’s window to contend had closed and that a rebuild was forthcoming. That may not exactly qualify as a hot take but it narrows down the swingman’s motivations for seeking an opportunity elsewhere. That said, the Lakers – the team George was initially said to be interested in – haven’t won more than 30 games since 2012/13.

In other interviews, George seems to question the promotional strategy the Pacers’ have used regarding his pending return to Indiana in December, while also throwing shade at the team for how they traded Danny Granger to the Sixers back in 2014.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • The Cavaliers are going to need plenty more out of their shooting guards, Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com writes. So far this season, free agent acquisition Dwyane Wade has struggled to find a rhythm while J.R. Smith has gone ice cold from the field.
  • Not married to any particular rotation, Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy intends to use the two-day period between Detroit’s victory over the Timberwolves and their contest with the Clippers on Saturday to re-evaluate the club’s lineups. Keith Langlois of the team’s official site writes that a number of players could be utilized differently in the frontcourt.
  • The Pacers have been more than satisfied with what they’ve gotten out of Victor Oladipo so far this season, Clifton Brown of The Indianapolis Star writes. “I like his pace,” head coach Nate McMillan said after the team’s loss to Paul George‘s Thunder. “He’s doing a good job of not forcing the issue. His shot selection has been better. He’s knocking down shots and in a pretty good rhythm, and we try to go to him as much as possible, because he was the one guy with the hot hand. He’s just playing with a nice pace.”

Bulls Notes: Front Office, Wade, Mirotic, Portis

In an in-depth and well-researched piece for ESPN, Nick Friedell examines how the Bulls went from a title contender to one of the NBA’s worst teams within the last several years. Friedell’s report, which begins by revisiting Derrick Rose‘s first major injury back in 2012, provides plenty of interesting tidbits along the way, touching on the tension between Tom Thibodeau and the front office, Jimmy Butler and Joakim Noah, Dwyane Wade and his young teammates, and Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic.

As Friedell details, there has no been no shortage of issues in Chicago in recent years, with even the most successful seasons during that stretch including a few sour notes. For instance, sources tell Friedell that executives John Paxson and Gar Forman felt like they didn’t get enough credit for the roster they built during the Thibodeau years.

Friedell’s whole piece is worth a read, but here are a couple more details from it, along with more Bulls notes:

  • When the Bulls landed Wade last summer, Forman conveyed the impression that the front office had been planning its pursuit of Wade for weeks. In reality though, according to Friedell, the Bulls were “shocked” that they had an opportunity to pry Wade away from the Heat, and altered their rebuilding plans when it became clear they could sign him.
  • Via Freidell, here’s what Paxson had to say about the perception that the Bulls could have done better than the Timberwolves’ package in a Butler trade: “Teams would call us all the time and probe about Jimmy and that type of thing. But no one ever made us any type of legitimate offer. In fact, most teams, when they would make an offer, it was somewhat insulting. So we always listened, which teams do, but it really came down to, could we start to rebuild with some quality young players? And hope that knowing what our future holds, it’s going to be painful at times. But if we get into these next few drafts at a fairly significant level, the hope is that pairing what draft picks we have going forward and the players that we got in this deal, we can get back sooner rather than later.”
  • In a separate article for ESPN, Friedell notes that the fight between Portis and Mirotic denied the Bulls the opportunity to push an optimistic and hopeful narrative about the team’s rebuild to open the season.
  • Although Portis privately and publicly apologized for punching Mirotic, there are growing concerns that the relationship between the two players may be much more difficult to repair, as Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times writes. Mirotic hasn’t returned any of Portis’ calls or texts, says Cowley.

Dwyane Wade To Come Off The Bench

Dwyane Wade will come off the bench for the Cavaliers and J.R. Smith will take his place as the starting 2-guard, Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com writes. Vardon notes that Wade made the request for the change.

“I just decided, earlier than later, just to get to the unit where I’d be more comfortable in and can probably better with this team in that lineup,” Wade said. “Why wait? Three games in, why wait? Wanted to get in there with those guys.”

The future Hall-of-Famer is averaging a career-low 8.3 points per game over his first three contest with the club. Part of the reason is that the 35-year-old isn’t getting enough touches and coach Tyronn Lue envisions him getting more opportunity with the second unit.

“He saw that it would be better for him with him in the second unit because he can be featured and have the ball in his hands more than he was in the first unit. Class act for him to come to me and say, ‘You know what, I’m ready to make that change,'” Lue said.

Wade and Lue previously discussed a reserve role when the shooting guard signed with the team back in September, though they wanted to first evaluate the fit in the starting lineup. While Wade will likely be more involved in the offense as a member of the second unit, scoring is not his primary objective.

“I came here for one reason,” Wade said. “I didn’t come here to shoot 20 shots or average 20 points. I came here to be a part of winning and to bring what I can to this team and I want to do that. I feel that my best opportunity to do that is in that unit, so it just came down to that.”

Wade agreed to a buyout with the Bulls late in the summer, which was a decision fueled by Chicago’s desire to get younger and go forward with a rebuild. He was set to make approximately $23.8MM during the 2017/18 season, though he gave up roughly $8MM of that amount as part of the agreement with the Bulls. He’s currently on a one-year, minimum salary contract with the Cavs.

Central Notes: Pistons, Rose, Wade, Markkanen

Despite a disappointing 2016/17 campaign, in which the Pistons finished 37-45 and missed the playoffs, owner Tom Gores still has confidence in coach and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy, reports Ansar Khan of MLive.com. “Do I believe in Stan? Absolutely,” Gores said. “He works hard. He told me the other day how hard this team is working. They practice hard. The game is one thing, but practice is important, so Stan really feels good about it … We’re seeing this through, absolutely.”

Gores also touched on the Pistons’ return to Detroit after spending the prior 29 seasons in Auburn Hills. “Back in Detroit. I think that’s a big deal. The city’s worked really hard for this. To tell you the truth, I’m not sure exactly how to express it other than I’m just so happy for you guys, for the community … I feel really fortunate to be here.” Despite last season’s frustration, the Pistons are off to a 2-1 start; enough to place them atop the Central Division in the early going of the 2017/18 season.

Here’s more news from the Central:

  • Derrick Rose is unconcerned about his left ankle injury that kept him out of the Cavaliers’ 21-point loss against the Magic on Saturday night, relays Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. In fact, Rose seems more concerned about the effect his absence may have on his conditioning level rather than the ankle itself. “It’s a mild sprain, nothing too serious,” Rose said. “Been getting lot of treatment since this morning, actually (Friday) night. They’re staying on top of it. Like I said, I just don’t want to lose my conditioning because I feel like I’m in great shape right now.” 
  • While Rose looks to make his return to the court in the near future, teammate Dwyane Wade is still trying to find his rhythm on the court with the Cavaliers, reports Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. Wade is averaging a mere 5.7 PPG on 28% shooting in his first three games with the Cavaliers. “I’m trying to find it, man,” Wade said. “It’s very different, different than I’ve ever played. Just trying to find my way, as we go on, see how I can be best for this team. Everything’s happened so fast.”
  • In the midst of a rebuilding year and an embarrassing altercation between teammates, the Bulls seem to have found at least one bright spot in rookie Lauri Markkanen, reports Vincent Goodwill of NBC Sports Chicago. Scoring 13 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in Saturday night’s loss to the Spurs, Markkanen received high praise from a future Hall-of-Famer, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich“Markkanen is a wonderful player. He’s aggressive, he’s smart and obviously, he can shoot the ball. He’s just going to get better and better as he figures things out.” With both Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic out for the next several games, at least, Markkanen will continue to have an opportunity to showcase his talent against the rest of the league.

Dwyane Wade Talks Cavs, Kyrie, Team Dynamics

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.”

Central Notes: Pistons, Udrih, LaVine, Cavs

After waiving veteran point guard Beno Udrih on Saturday, the Pistons are down to 14 players on their NBA roster to open the season, and head coach Stan Van Gundy doesn’t anticipate filling that final opening right away, per Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press.

“Is there going to be anyone out there right now?” said Van Gundy, who also serves as the Pistons’ president of basketball operations. “I don’t know that. I’m not saying there won’t be, but that’s not really the plan, but as you get going on and you assess needs or get an injury, that 15th spot can give you some flexibility.”

As for Udrih, the 35-year-old has aspirations of getting into coaching once his playing career is over, but he’s not ready to retire as a player quite yet, writes Rod Beard of The Detroit News.

“I’m not there yet; I know I can still play, especially in a system that people know what I can do,” Udrih told Beard. “I’m a pick-and-roll player and I’ll make the right play and try to find open shots for my teammates or take the mid-range shot. … I still can play and I still want to play. If it doesn’t happen here, maybe somewhere else, and we’ll go from there.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • Although the Bulls and Zach LaVine‘s representatives remained in communication, the two sides never really got close to working out a contract extension for LaVine before Monday’s deadline, says Vincent Goodwill of NBC Sports Chicago. However, Goodwill reiterates what we’ve heard from other reporters, suggesting that the club has no intention of letting LaVine get away in restricted free agency next summer.
  • With so many new players to incorporate, the Cavaliers are anticipating “somewhat of a bumpy ride” early in the season, writes Terry Pluto of The Cleveland Plain Dealer.
  • One of those new arrivals is veteran guard Dwyane Wade, and Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com takes an in-depth look at how the Cavaliers are accommodating the future Hall-of-Famer during his first season with the club.

Bulls Notes: Rose, Wade, Dunn, Lineup

With Dwyane Wade poised to start at shooting guard this season for the Cavaliers, he and Derrick Rose will share the backcourt in Cleveland. The pairing is one that the Bulls badly wanted to create themselves back in 2010, and Rose said today that he made an effort to bring Wade – along with LeBron James and Chris Bosh – to Chicago. As Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com details, the former No. 1 overall pick recorded a video to recruit the trio.

“Oh yeah, yeah, I tried,” Rose said, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN. “People always said that I didn’t recruit. I tried to recruit. I put out the video, but, it wasn’t for me to say that. I felt like it was for the organization to say that.”

Rose, who received some criticism during his time with the Bulls for not making a stronger effort to recruit free agents, said today that he doesn’t know whether Wade, James, and Bosh ever watched the video he recorded.

“(The Bulls) didn’t say anything about it,” Rose said. “They sent it, I don’t know if they really actually looked at it or played the video, but, I made the video, but at the time it really wasn’t for me to say that.”

Here’s more from out of Chicago:

  • There are no hard feelings between the Bulls’ young players and Wade, despite an incident last season in which the veteran guard – along with Jimmy Butler – questioned his teammates’ desire to win. We never had any conflict with Dwyane,” Nikola Mirotic said, per Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. “Just after that game, they had some tough declarations, Jimmy and D-Wade. But that was all. It’s a part of the game. They were hot. There was disappointment about the game. We all understand. But inside the locker room and in the practices, they were terrific with us. So there’s nothing to complain about.”
  • Bulls reporter Sean Highkin (Twitter link) hears that the Bulls expect point guard Kris Dunn to be sidelined for two to four weeks due to a dislocated finger.
  • While it hasn’t been set in stone yet, all signs are pointing toward the Bulls opening the season with Jerian Grant, Justin Holiday, Paul Zipser, Mirotic, and Robin Lopez in their starting lineup. K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune has the details.
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