Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue has decided to move 35-year-old guard Dwyane Wade to the bench, according to recent reports.
As noted by The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, Wade has come off the bench just 11 times (or one percent of games) since 2003. Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com, however, adds that head coach Ty Lue told Wade during training that the second unit would be best for him to come off the bench.
During his first practice with the Cavaliers, the 12-time All-Star was the backup point guard for the defending Eastern Conference champions. Wade, obviously struggling, recently spoke about his unclear role with Cleveland (via ESPN):
“I’m trying to find it, man. 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. This has been a long, a long week … I’ve always been a [No.] 1 or 2 option. It’s just a different game. You got to kind of figure out your way.”
Derrick Rose, who has started the season as the first-unit point guard as Isaiah Thomas is hurt, was recently injured and will miss “a few more days” for the Cavaliers. Jose Calderon will start in his place as he recovers.
It’s unclear if Smith will start in favor of Wade for the foreseeable future or if the team would consider starting Wade over Calderon at point guard if Rose is out for longer than expected.
Now that Smith is back in the starting five for Cleveland, their offense will assuredly shoot the ball more often. Similarly, it seems likely Wade could have better success as a leading option for the second unit.
Based on his most recent tweet, however, it does not seem Wade is upset with the decision.