The new look and retooled Cleveland Cavaliers could feature Dwyane Wade as the backup point guard and Kevin Love as the starting post man.
If the team’s early preseason practices are any legitimate indication, that’s the direction coach Tyronn Lue appears to be leaning in.
Since arriving in Cleveland just days after being bought out by his hometown Chicago Bulls, Cleveland.com reported that Wade has been working out as the team’s backup PG.
“Me and Ty just talked about role,” Wade recently told reporters. “We didn’t talk about starting or nothing like that. We just talked about what my role can be and pretty much what I’ve always done. I’m not focusing on starting at the 2. I’m not focusing on anything. I’m just focused on coming in here, learning the offense, continuing to be one of the guys and figure that Ty, he will figure everything out.”
Lue already sounds sold on the idea of having the 14-year veteran and surefire Hall of Famer serve in the role of second-unit anchor.
“Just his poise, getting guys shots,” he said when quizzed as to what has stood out most to him about Wade. “Never gets sped up no matter how crazy the game may be, pressing or whatever they’re doing, he’s always under control and seems to make the right play every time.”
Meanwhile, Love appears to have been penciled in as the team’s starting post man, ahead of Tristan Thompson and alongside fellow starters LeBron James, Derrick Rose, Jae Crowder and J.R. Smith.
ESPN reported that the Cavs’ are also expected to have Isiah Thomas, acquired in the Kyrie Irving deal from Boston, back sometime soon after the New Year.
“I haven’t been where I have to score every time down in a long time,” Wade said of the prospect of being a point guard and coming off the bench for the first time in his NBA career. “I’m a ‘pick your spot’ type of player. When I have the ball in my hand, I’m always a playmaker. I’m always dangerous to make plays and I’ve scored over 20,000-some points in my career so I can still put the ball in the basket.”
As for his projected new role, Love also seems up for the opportunity.
“Tristan’s a roller, guy that plays a lot as a dunker,” he said. “Myself, I have to play inside-out, mix that up and really take what the defense gives you. But it gives us a different look. I mentioned different dynamics out there on the floor with different lineups, and we’re so deep now that we’re going to see guys playing interchangeable.”
With Crowder as part of the mix, Lue doesn’t seem too concerned about what he might lose defensively in making a Thompson for Love interior switch.
The third-year coach told reporters he is “fine” with such a move.
[Featured Image by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images]