Cleveland Cavaliers guard Dwyane Wade has apparently requested to come off the bench for the team.
“I just decided, earlier than later, just to get to the unit where I’d be more comfortable in and can probably be better with this team in that lineup,” Wade told ESPN this week. “Why wait? Three games in, why wait? Wanted to get in there with those guys.”
The 35-year-old NBA star has come off the bench just 11 times in his 15-year career.
Coach Tyronn Lue initially chose to have Wade start, moving guard JR Smith to the bench, but told reporters the lineup was subject to change. With Wade agreeing to the move, he’s now saying it is permanent.
“I just wanted to give him a chance because he’d been a starter his whole career,” Lue said. “To watch him with that first unit, we see how it worked out, and he came to me and just said, ‘What you said was right. It’s a better fit for me in the second unit.’ For a future Hall of Famer and a guy that’s won three NBA championships to come to the coach and see what’s best for the team, that’s big time.”
So far this season, Wade is averaging 5.7 points per game on 28 percent shooting, along with 3.3 assists.
With Wade going to the bench, J.R. Smith wil return to the starting guard role he’s been in for the past three seasons in Cleveland.