Dean Wade is officially a Cleveland Cavalier.
The organization announced it had signed Wade, who starred at Kansas State the past four seasons, to a two-way contract Tuesday.
Wade, who has appeared in two different summer leagues for the Cavaliers already, is one of only two players for the team who can receive a two-way contract at any given time, in addition to their 15-man regular-season roster. A two-way player is permitted to spend up to 45 days with the NBA team during the regular season while majority of their time is spent with their G-League affiliate. (The Cavaliers’ G-League affiliate is the Canton Charge, located in Canton, Ohio.)
Wade has appeared in four summer league games (all starts) for Cleveland 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. In his professional debut — July 1 against the San Antonio Spurs — he put together a well-rounded effort, scoring 14 points, grabbing six rebounds, snatching three steals and dishing out two assists.
“We’re trying not to give him too much work since he’s coming off a stress fracture,” Cleveland head coach John Beilein told reporters Tuesday. “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 for the Cavaliers since Chuckie Williams, who the team selected with the 15th overall pick in the first round of the 1976 NBA Draft. Williams went on to play 22 games for the Cavaliers during the 1976-77 season.
Wade left K-State as one of only three players (along with Bob Boozer and Rodney McGruder) to rank in the school’s all-time top 10 in both career scoring (1,510/10th) and rebounding (685/eighth). He’s also the lone Wildcat to ever tally 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 other categories, including double-digit scoring games, starts (123/second), (81/seventh), field goals made and (548/eighth).
Wade joined Jacob Pullen as the only K-State players in the Big 12 era to earn first-team all-conference honors in back-to-back seasons.
During his senior campaign in 2018-19, which was cut short twice by injuries, Wade averaged 12.9 points and a team-high 6.2 rebounds to go along with 2.8 assists per game. He led the Wildcats in field goal (49.2; 122 of 248), 3-point (41.8; 23-for-55) and free throw percentage (78.9).
Wade was part of a three-member senior class — Barry Brown and Kamau Stokes were the other two — that posted an 88-51 (.633) overall record, advanced to three NCAA Tournaments in four seasons and won a share of the 2018-19 Big 12 regular-season title.