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Lue: Cavaliers will start Wade over J.R. Smith

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports / Action Images

After revamping the roster over the summer, the Cleveland Cavaliers have slowly but surely been announcing their rotation as the season nears.

Head coach Tyronn Lue told reporters Monday he plans to start Dwyane Wade at shooting guard this season, relegating J.R. Smith to the bench.

Smith, 32, has been the primary starter at the two-spot since joining Cleveland in 2015. He missed time last year due to a thumb injury, and finished with averages of 8.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and a steal over 41 games.

Wade, who joined the Cavs two weeks ago following his buyout from the Chicago Bulls, has come off the bench just 11 times in his 14 seasons. The 12-time All-Star put up 18.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.4 steals over 30 minutes per game for his hometown club.

The 35-year-old is now slated to start alongside one of his best friends in LeBron James, as well as Derrick Rose, Jae Crowder, and Kevin Love. Love moved from the four to claim Tristan Thompson's spot as the starting center. That move pushed Channing Frye out of the rotation, which Lue apologized for.

Related: Thompson accepts new bench role, gunning for 6th Man award

Wade is expected to take over point guard duties when the oft-injured Rose sits.

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