When Dwyane Wade signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers a couple of weeks ago, the question immediately became whether or not he would start.
Due to the overwhelming amount of depth on the back-to-back-to-back Eastern Conference champion Cavs, it was a valid question despite Wade’s growing Hall of Fame legacy that includes 12 All-Star games, a Finals MVP and three NBA championships.
Head coach Tyronn Lue recently told the media that he was planning on starting Kevin Love at center, sending Tristan Thompson to the bench in the process. With LeBron James, Love, and Derrick Rose (until Isaiah Thomas returns from his hip injury) guaranteed starting roles, it also appears as though Jae Crowder will start at power forward, leaving a vacancy at shooting guard.
Per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, Lue has decided that JR Smith will come off the bench and Wade will indeed start the year as his starting two-guard.
Therefore, a starting five that includes Rose, Wade, James and Love is a reality, which would have been an unimaginable foursome a few seasons ago.
Pairing Rose and Wade in the backcourt should be a sight to see. While both players struggle shooting from beyond the arc, they are both gifted mid-range scorers and have a knack of drawing fouls and picking up easy buckets at the free throw line.
They'll be fine," Lue told reporters on Monday, per Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. "They're both good cutters off the ball, good slashers. Both can get to the paint. They'll be good together. Just got to wait and see how they feel, but I'm excited about it.”
While that group will start, Lue has experimented with a few rotations that he has liked during the preseason and he revealed that Rose will probably be the first starter to sub out, as he plans to use him on the second unit as well.
“I think having him on the second unit, along with the first unit, him and 'Bron can always push the pace because we want to play with pace, play fast,” Lue said. “And then we want to get D-Rose back with that second unit, we can push and we've got J.R. and Kyle running the lanes, and you have Jeff Green filling the lanes and D-Rose can go to the basket. So, he's going to be able to find guys and we're going to have a lot of space on the floor for him, but we can still play with pace.”
Given LeBron’s versatility and ball-handling skills, he will easily be able to play point forward and bring up the ball in Rose’s absence. Wade also has had experience in a similar role.
After signing Wade, the Cavs have one of the most impressive rosters (on paper) in the entire league. Whether they experience growing pains or not, once they also get Thomas back, there’s no knowing what the ceiling is.