School: Kansas State
Height/Weight: 6’10, 228 lbs
Dean Wade’s most attractive quality is his shooting given his height. He’s got such a great stroke and he usually likes to operate in the post particularly when he has a mismatch. He loves to turn off of that left shoulder and hit a fadeaway J or just go with the 1 dribble pull up on either block.
Wade actually slides his feet quite adequately for his size. He is more than willing to follow his man out on the perimeter and would be able to defend most 5’s in the NBA out there. When they go to set a screen, he is a fantastic hedger. Always seems to drag the ball handler off his course and does it well enough to not leave his man open for too long.
On top of that defensively, he provides such great help defense in the paint. It’ll clearly be more difficult to provide rim protection at the next level, but when Wade is looking healthy, he does it at an above average rate. This year, he hasn’t averaged too many blocks and that’s because he doesn’t always look like the same player because of his health. But, when he is looking like himself, the help side D is there.
The high post is where Wade loves to float to on offense. He’ll flash to that free throw line quite often and then either hit a nice turn around J or pass it to the open man. Either way, he seems to make the right decision at that spot.
Wade also runs the floor very well. Not necessarily with the ball, but he’ll start running in transition and beat his man quite easily down the court to then make himself available for a pass.
Wade’s not very physical on either end of the court. On offense, he’d much rather shoot a fade-away than use his body to get to the rim. That seems to be the case undetermined by the size mismatch he has in the post. On the defensive end, he doesn’t often throw his body around in the post. He actually seems much more comfortable defending on the perimeter.
As mentioned earlier, he slides his feet well on D, but there is a little concern. Wade has had a plethora of foot injuries during his time at Kansas State, so another injury could make things a lot worse. But, one thing that is apparent now is that he struggles when back pedaling. Side to side he seems fine, but there has to be a concern on that slow movement when moving backwards.
Wade’s ball handling is poor, simply put. He isn’t afraid to put it down once or twice in the post to get better position, but he struggles when putting it down at all when dribbling out from the perimeter. If another player even threatens to help, then it’s pretty common for Wade to turn it over with little pressure.
The lack of rebounding numbers is very worrying especially when you add in the fact that Wade is often the tallest player on the court. Most of his rebounds come from good positioning instead of his athleticism or good box-outs. Wade would be such an attractive stretch 5 in the NBA given his potential as a rim protector and shooting, but the rebounding is just not there for that to be a reality right now.
Sometimes, Dean Wade will not be vertical on defense. It’s not always a common occurrence, but given his vertical and height, there is no need for him to ever bring his hands down in this type of fashion.
As mentioned in the strengths section, Wade can do a good job of providing help defense, but when it’s as wild as it is here, it definitely doesn’t help the team.
Dean Wade isn’t an easy player to evaluate for this year’s draft. He joins a small group of seniors who could be drafted, but we aren’t even sure if he will be. The offensive potential is clearly there and it’s pretty easy to find him making a roster spot in the NBA IF he is healthy. That’s the big IF though.
There will be hesitation from teams to take him in the draft because of his injuries. When Wade looks healthy, he is a terrific player, but making that a common thread is the key. Dean Wade’s combine is going to be key to leading to a 2nd round draft pick. Otherwise, look for him to show out in Summer League to earn himself a roster spot on an NBA team.