In what shouldn’t be considered too much of a surprise, Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue named recent acquisition Dwyane Wade as the team’s starting two-guard over holdover J.R. Smith.
Tyronn Lue says he has named Dwyane Wade his starting shooting guard to start the season. J.R. Smith will come off the bench.
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) October 9, 2017
Wade, a future Hall of Famer, was never really going to be relegated to bench duties with the Cavaliers after he agreed to a buyout with the Chicago Bulls.
The 35-year-old guard averaged 18.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists in his only season in the Windy City. At least initially, he will start opposite former MVP Derrick Rose in the Cavaliers’ backcourt. Once Isaiah Thomas returns from injury, the two will form a tremendous perimeter punch to go with bestie LeBron James.
For his part, Smith isn’t going to be too bent out of shape after being sent to the bench.
“I’ll come off the bench. I’m not going to sit here and get into a blank-measuring contest with Dwyane Wade. I’m not going to win that,” Smith said late last month, via ESPN. “I’m not going to do that. I’m going to continue to work hard for our team and however they choose to do it, that’s who it’s going to be.”
It’s most definitely a nice problem for the re-tooled Cavaliers as they look for their fourth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals this season.