The Cleveland Cavaliers have agreed to a three-year, $18.5 million contract extension with Dean Wade, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Wade has become one of the NBA’s great recent developmental stories. Undrafted out of Kansas State in 2019, Wade signed a two-way deal with the Cavs and proved he belonged in the NBA.
He has grown into a steady contributor at both forward spots for Cleveland over the past two seasons, starting a combined 47 games for the Cavs. Given the makeup of Cleveland’s current roster, he should have a chance to move into a full-time starting position this season.
Cleveland traded several role players in their blockbuster acquisition of Donovan Mitchell. In doing so, they guaranteed a backcourt of Mitchell and Darius Garland with the combination of Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen up front. That small forward spot between them is seemingly up for grabs. Wade will have to compete with Isaac Okoro, Cedi Osman and others to win that job, but his combination of size and shooting should make him a compelling choice.
Wade is under contract this season for less than $2 million, so in total, the Cavaliers are paying roughly $20 million for four seasons of team control on a player who might be able to start for them this season. That’s some of the best value you’ll find in all of basketball. The Cavaliers are going to get very expensive once this young core ages into contention. Having role players like Wade locked in for value contracts will be absolutely essential for their finances moving forward.