Wade and LeBron Reunited
The Cleveland Cavaliers have been particularly busy during the offseason but they still had time to add another new face to their roster ahead of the new season. Having cleared NBA waivers, 12-time All-Star Dwayne Wade agreed to a one-year deal with the Cavs, where he will link back up with LeBron James - who he won two NBA Championships during the pair's time with the Miami Heat. The deal, worth $2.3 million, will see the guard join a star-studded team, and one widely-expected to again be one of the strongest in the league this year.
A host of franchises were interested in signing the 35-year old, and the Cavaliers had to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs and the Heat in the pursuit of Wade, with the veteran's relationship with James rumored to have played a key role in his decision. The duo spent four years together in Miami, winning two NBA titles during that time and guiding the franchise to the most successful time in their history. Wade, who ended his 11-season stay with Miami last year to sign for the Chicago Bulls, might not be the player he once was, but he could be one of the signings of the offseason.
"Dwyane Wade and LeBron James" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Keith Allison
With point guard Isaiah Thomas sidelined until the new year, the Cavs needed to add options to their roster. What they've got is one of the best of this generation, who will join a roster containing LeBron, Kevin Love, JR Smith, and Tristan Thompson. It's no surprise that Cleveland are priced at around 20/33 with the latest bet365 odds to top the Eastern Conference. While the Golden State Warriors are being tipped by many to retain the title, the addition of Wade to this team will certainly give Cavs fans confidence heading into the new campaign.
Wade arrives in Cleveland on the back of an impressive yet short spell with the Bulls, averaging 18 points during a very solid season in Chicago. In his 14 seasons in the league, the three-time NBA champion has an average of 23.3 points, 5.7 assists and 4.8 rebounds a game. Having left Miami in 2016, Wade joined a Bulls team going through a transitional period, with the franchise opting to buy him out of his contract rather than pay him $23.8 million to stay this season. Despite being 35, Wade proved he still has some ball left in him, and it was no surprise so many teams were interested in signing him.
"Future Hall of Famer Dwayne Wade" (CC BY-ND 2.0) by Joseph Glorioso Photography
Having traded Kyrie Irving to Boston and with Isaiah Thomas struggling with a hip injury, LeBron James had made no secret of the fact he wanted the franchise to sign Wade. And with 2011 MVP Derrick Rose also recently signing with the Cavs, the hope in Cleveland is that these veterans will be able to guide this team to a championship. When it comes to those high pressured situations later in the postseason, these older players could well be the difference.