MANHATTAN, Kan. – Former Kansas State forward Dean Wade has signed a two-way contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the organization announced on Tuesday.
Wade, who has appeared in two different summer leagues for the Cavaliers so far, is one of only two players who can receive a two-way contract at any given time, in addition to their 15-man regular-season roster. A two-way player can spend up to 45 days with the team during the regular season while playing a majority of the time with their G-League affiliate, the Canton (Ohio) Charge, during the upcoming 2019-20 season.
Wade has appeared in four summer league games (all starts) for the Cavaliers in Salt Lake City and Las Vegas, averaging 8.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.0 steals in 27.9 minutes per game. He received Salt Lake City Summer League Standout honors, which included a 14-point, 6-rebound, 3-steal, 2-assist effort in his pro debut against the San Antonio Spurs on July 1.
“We’re trying not to give him too much work since he’s coming off a stress fracture,” said Cleveland head coach John Beilein. “However, he has a big-time jump shot and is a really good passer. What I would like to see develop right now is a back-to-the-basket game. He had a really good college coach in Bruce Weber, so I’m looking forward to watching him grow and develop. He has something every team needs in that he can really shoot the ball.”
Wade is the first Wildcat to play with Cleveland since Chuckie Williams was drafted with the 15th selection in the first round of the 1976 NBA Draft. He played in 22 games for the Cavaliers during the 1976-77 season.
One of the more versatile players in school history, Wade is one of just three Wildcats (Bob Boozer and Rodney McGruder) to rank in the Top 10 in both career scoring (1,510/10th) and rebounding (685/8th), while he is the only player in school history with at least 1,000 points, 100 3-point field goals, 500 rebounds, 200 assists and 100 steals. He finished among the career Top 10 in several categories, including scoring, rebounding, double-digit scoring games (81/7th), field goals made (548/8th) and starts (123/2nd).
In his 126-game career, Wade averaged 12 points on 49.8 percent shooting (548-of-1100), including 38.6 percent (128-of-332) from 3-point range, with 5.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 0.9 steals in 29.3 minutes per game.
Wade, along with Jacob Pullen, are the only Wildcats in the Big 12 era to be selected All-Big 12 First Team in back-to-back seasons and one of just five to ever earn recognition to the Coaches’ All-Big 12 First Team.
For his senior season, which was cut short twice by injuries, Wade averaged 12.9 points on 49.2 percent shooting (122-of-248), including 41.8 percent (23-of-55) from 3-point range, with 6.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 30.4 minutes per game. He led the Wildcats in field goal percentage, 3-point field goal percentage and free throw percentage (78.9) as well as rebounding.
Wade was part of a senior class that posted an 88-51 (.633) overall record, advanced to three NCAA Tournaments and won a share of the 2018-19 Big 12 regular season title.