As stated in the NBA rules, teams are permitted to have two Two-Way contract players on their roster. These players can spend up to 45 days with their NBA team during the regular season. The rest of their time is spent with that particular organization’s G-League Affiliate.
In several ways, the 2019-2020 Cleveland Cavaliers season should be “trial and error.” While the team does have viable veteran opens, including the all-star Kevin Love, the Cavaliers should see what they have in their young prospects. Obviously, their draftees will play significant minutes. Darius Garland could very well start at the beginning of the season, with Dylan Windler and Kevin Porter Jr. growing into key contributors as the season develops.
Since the season should be dedicated more to prospect development, the Cavaliers need to let their Two-Way contract players contribute in some capacity. On Tuesday, the organization announced the signing of forward Dean Wade to a Two-Way contract. Each team is allowed two of these contracts. Wade fills in the Cavaliers first Two-Way contract slot.
Dean Wade: Player Profile
During his four years at Kansas State, Wade averaged 12.0 points per game. He shot nearly 50% from the field. Every organization around the league covets three-point shooters; the Cavaliers will be no different.
Wade provides the Cavaliers with another forward who can shoot from behind the arc. In his final two seasons at Kansas State, Wade shot 44% and 41.8% from three-point range. While the Two-Way contract inhibits the amount of service at the NBA level, Wade can still see significant minutes in a handful of games.
At the time of writing this article, Wade appeared in four summer league games, starting in all of them. In these contests, Wade averaged 8.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.0 steals. These statistics were accumulated in 27.9 minutes per game.
According to the Cavaliers press release, Wade received Salt Lake City Summer League Standout honors.
Who fills out the final Two-Way contract spot?
While each organization has two Two-Way contract spots, they aren’t required to fill them out. Typically, championship contending teams won’t bother with these contracts. Cleveland will not be one of those teams, however.
Since Wade signed one of these contracts with Cleveland, the organization has one left. Naz Mitrou-Long, who has played well for the Cavaliers Summer League squad, could receive the same contract Wade signed. With a few roster spots still open on the Cavaliers, there’s a chance one of their Summer League players, like Mitrou-Long, could receive an NBA contract. It’s highly unlikely though.
The Cavaliers are still competing as a collective team during the Summer League, but at this point, it’s likely an open tryout for the final Two-Way contract slot. In the three games he’s appeared in, according to the NBA statistics department, Mitrou-Long averaged 28 minutes per game, nearly identical to Wade’s. He’s averaged 15.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game, while shooting 45% from the field.
Besides Wade and first-rounder Windler, Mitrou-Long is the only Clevelander to receive such minutes. The next closest player in minutes per game behind these three players isn’t even close.
It’s increasingly likely Mitrou-Long signs with the Cavaliers, at any point from now until Summer League commencement. The final Two-Way contract slot is likely Mitrou-Long, who will join Wade in trying to prove himself this season with only limited action at the NBA level.
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