Dwyane Wade has served as a key cog on the Cavaliers’ second unit so far this season, becoming an early candidate for the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award that’s announced in the postseason.
Wade, who’s spent 15 seasons in the NBA with Miami, Chicago and now Cleveland, made a decision he’s never made before upon agreeing to a deal with the Cavs in September: Taking a step back to the bench. Before this season, Wade started in 904 out of 915 career games. How has the sudden, fresh adjustment affected Wade’s play? Look no further than asking LeBron James.
“He’s probably the number one candidate (for the award),” James said after Saturday’s team shootaround, according to ESPN. “Not even being biased, that’s one of my best friends. Just looking at the teams.”
James labeling Wade as the top Sixth Man of the Year candidate may come with a little bias, but it isn’t a completely far-fetched idea. Wade has averaged 11 points, four assists and four rebounds in 23 minutes, raising his shooting percentages from the floor and 3-point territory in 21 games.
Other early candidates for the award could be Houston’s Eric Gordon, the Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson and Golden State’s Andre Iguodala. The award was won by Eric Gordon last season after he posted 16.2 points per contest.