On Monday, the Cavaliers signed free agent forward Jordan Bell to a year deal. They also came to terms with two-way forward Dean Wade on a multi-year deal. Both deals were confirmed on Tuesday, and fill roster spots for the Cavs.
Bell went to high school in Long Beach, before committing to Oregon in 2012. He redshirted in 2013, before averaging 5.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks per game. He also set a school record for blocks with 94 blocks in his first season. As a redshirt sophomore he averaged seven points, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game. Bell had his best season as a junior, averaging nearly eleven points a game, 8.8 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks. His performances in the season helped lead the Ducks to Final Four.
In April 2017, Bell declared for the NBA Draft. He was picked 38th by the Chicago Bulls, but was traded to the Golden State Warriors on draft night in exchange for 3.5 million in cash considerations. In late October 2017, Bell dunked after a self-alley-oop late in an eventual blowout win against the Dallas Mavericks. This angered both the coaches and players of the Mavericks, eventually leading to a social media feud. Just before Christmas, while playing the Lakers, Bell had a career high twenty points, while also getting his first career double-double. He played a minor role in the Warriors playoff run, but got a ring in his first season after the Warriors swept the Cavaliers. He finished his first season averaging 4.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, and one block per game.
In March of 2019, the Warriors gave Bell a one-game suspension for “conduct detrimental to the team.” In the playoffs, he came off the bench to score a playoff career high of eleven, helping the Warriors beat the Trail Blazers 114-111. He started in the series clinching game four, scoring seven points in the game. He did get one start in the NBA Finals against the Raptors, but the team ultimately lost the series in six games. Bell had a tough season in 2018-2019, averaging less points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals than the previous year.
In the off-season, the Warriors extended Bell’s contract to a qualifying offer, but Bell chose to sign with the Timberwolves. He played in 27 games for Minnesota, averaging a career-low three points per game, while his assist, steal, and block numbers also dropped. He did average slightly more rebounds per game, but his time in Minnesota ended when he and Robert Covington were traded to the Rockets in a four team deal. However, he was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies a day later for Bruno Caboclo and a swap of second round picks. He played just two games for the Grizzlies before being waived.
In 2020, the G-league team for the Washington Wizards, the Capital City Go-Go, added Bell off of waivers. However, the Cavs signed Bell to a two-year deal, and he became a Cavalier.
The Cavaliers’ other addition was power forward Dean Wade. Wade went to high school in St. John’s Kansas, a town of less than 1300. He led the Tigers to three state titles, and was selected as Mr. Kansas Basketball. He averaged nearly ten points a game as a freshman at Kansas State, being named the Big 12’s newcomer of the year. He posted similar numbers in his sophomore season, averaging 9.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game. The Wildcats made it to the NCAA tournament, where they made it through their First Four matchup with Cincinnati, before getting knocked out in the first round. In his junior season, he broke out, averaging 16.2 points and 6.2 rebounds. As a result, he was a member of the first-team all Big-12. The Wildcats made the NCAA tournament as a nine seed, but would become one of many Cinderellas in that tournament, defeating Creighton, UMBC, and Kentucky to advance to the Elite Eight. They would be knocked out by eleven seed Loyola–Chicago. However, Wade had a stress fracture in his foot, missing all but eight minutes of K-State’s Cinderella run. In his senior season, Wade was once again named to the all Big-12 first team, but his numbers dropped, averaging 12.9 points and only half a block per game. His season was cut short by another foot injury, suffered against Iowa State.
He was not selected in the 2019 NBA Draft, but the Cavaliers signed him to a two-way deal, meaning he could be called up and sent down between the Cavs and the Canton Charge, the Cavaliers G-league affiliate. He made his NBA debut in November, scoring three points and grabbing two rebounds in a three game stint. Over twelve games with the Cavaliers he averaged 1.7 points and 1.6 rebounds per game. His contract was converted to a multi-year deal, and he should be a part of the Cavs rotation in 2020.
Both Bell and Wade are young, and bring talent to the Cavaliers, but they may struggle to find minutes as they try to find space in the Cavaliers already crowded front court.