There’s no denying Dwyane Wade’s place in NBA history. Although he never won a regular season MVP award, his three NBA championships, NBA Finals MVP award, 12 All-Star nods and three All-NBA Defensive Team selections speak volumes. He has cemented his place among the league’s top five shooting guards of all time. He isn’t done yet, either.
After receiving a buyout from the Chicago Bulls, Wade is back on a Finals contender for the first time since the 2013-2014 season. Alongside former “Heatle” LeBron James, Wade will have the best shot of anyone outside of Golden State’s locker room to win another title. The question remains, however, if he is willing to do what it takes to win that championship ring.
Cavaliers head coach Tyrone Lue will have his hands full managing his roster this season. While there doesn’t appear to be any selfish characters on this Cavs team, the collection of talent in the locker room guarantees at least a couple players will not play as many minutes as they would like.
One of those players may be Wade, who already averaged a career-low 29.9 minutes per game last season. While his playmaking and off-the-ball scoring ability will help his cause, Wade will be sharing minutes with fellow wing players J.R. Smith, Kyle Korver, Iman Shumpert, Jae Crowder and Jeff Green. There will be nights where he sits more than he would prefer. How will he react to that?
The cavs got a starting line up on the bench too 😩😩😩 pic.twitter.com/CWTV8lVYWl
— 305boi (@JayyArrDot) September 27, 2017
While Wade’s decision to join the Cavs makes it clear he is willing to sacrifice minutes to make a run at another title, will he be disgruntled if his minutes restriction begins to affect his production? Or if the Cavs go on a losing streak and he continues to ride the pine more than others? As a player who averaged 18.3 points per game last season in limited minutes, this transition could prove to be a bit rougher than he expected — both mentally and from a production standpoint.
Look, there’s no denying that Wade is a stand-up, team-first star. He knew what type of rotation he was joining when he signed with Cleveland. There’s a chance, however, that after a few seasons of fighting for more respect, he won’t be content with being the fourth or fifth option on offense. The onus will be on Lue to manage all of these players to maximize his rotations, but he’ll also need their full support for his decisions to pay off.
As an all-time great and banana boat buddy of LeBron’s, Wade’s attitude will set the tone for this group. Time will tell: is he is really all-in?