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Dion Waiters does not want to come off the bench for Cleveland

Jul 15, 2014, 2:10 PM EDT

dion waiters Getty Images

A few things in the Cleveland starting rotation are pretty much set in stone: Kyrie Irving at the point and LeBron James at the three. After that it’s probably Tristan Thompson at the four and Anderson Varejao at center to start and end games.

But at the two guard spot, do you start Dion Waiters or throw your No. 1 pick, the athletic but raw Andrew Wiggins out there and let him learn on the job? The Cavaliers see Wiggins as a big two, not a three, watching him at Summer League he can be a good NBA defender right now, but his jumper is far from consistent.

Waiters might be better suited as a sixth man, where he can come in with a green light. How does he feel about that?

Okay then.

Long term it’s not going to matter.

Unless he makes a leap Waiters is going to lose his starting job sooner rather than later. He averaged 15.9 points a game last season but needed 14.2 shots to get there. He shot the three ball better (36.8 percent) but he has a true shooting percentage of .508, well below the league average. He’s just not efficient.

Wiggins is the future, he has looked pretty good at Summer League, with some insanely athletic moves, but he is very raw. What he is doing wrong will change with experience.

Don’t be shocked if the Cavs start shopping Waiters around, too.

  1. jrob23 - Jul 15, 2014 at 7:58 PM

    Gotta love all these people saying Wiggins is raw. In what way? He’s already an elite defender. He already can drive, post up, and shoot outside. He is a very good passer, he rebounds, and he understands the game. Quit regurgitating what you heard a clueless scout say about him last year. Can he get more consistent on his shot? Sure, so can’t Lebron and just about 90% of players. But that alone does not make him raw. He’s more polished than all but maybe LJ on CLE. And yes that includes overrated Irvine.

    • jrob23 - Jul 15, 2014 at 8:00 PM


    • Kurt Helin - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:13 PM

      Have you watched him? I have multiple games in person at Summer League. He does not have a steady outside at all, good form but it’s not accurate. He does get passive off the ball. His understanding of the game and spacing is limited, he just makes up for it with his athleticism. He can defend. Don’t get me wrong, I like him a lot, but raw is a good word.

  2. mungman69 - Jul 15, 2014 at 8:30 PM

    Dion better come down to Earth (I think he will) cause he will get his minutes. Wiggins may be great some day but he’s got a long way to go.
    Lets see; two new starters, one who’s 19, and a rookie head coach. It may take those Cavs a year or two. And no full time center.

  3. mungman69 - Jul 15, 2014 at 8:39 PM

    The Cavs have four (4) #1 picks and two (2) #4 picks on their roster. I think that they will figure this team chemistry out.

    • 1historian - Jul 16, 2014 at 8:27 AM

      not necessarily.

  4. hurley711 - Jul 15, 2014 at 10:06 PM

    There were rumors of an Evan Turner for Waiters trade last year and I remember a Phillly reporter saying it would be teams exchanging head cases. Now I understand why.

    • tv63 - Jul 15, 2014 at 11:48 PM

      Evan Turner stinks. Career ppg is 11ppg. Waiters higher than that.

  5. ProBasketballPundit - Jul 15, 2014 at 10:12 PM

    Oh God he’s already causing problems. Cleveland needs to get a deal done with Minnesota and they need to make sure Waiters is a part of it.

    • badge3832 - Jul 15, 2014 at 11:27 PM

      Won’t happen. They don’t want him.

      • tv63 - Jul 16, 2014 at 12:25 AM

        Good! LOL

  6. clev313 - Jul 15, 2014 at 10:37 PM

    To be fair, you probably shouldn’t read too much context into a one word reply to a question like that. It isn’t like he wrote an unsolicited 10 page treatise explaining in detail every reason why he doesn’t want to come off the bench.

  7. sportsnut101 - Jul 15, 2014 at 11:16 PM

    Hes a young pup who needs to learn how to shoot maybe he should be on summer teams
    Trade his ass to dleague

  8. tv63 - Jul 15, 2014 at 11:44 PM

    Aw Jesus Folks ! Calm down. It’s twitter. FIrst of all what WASN”T REPORTED. Since his summer youtube video AND from June – present time he has said and tweeted he has and is working almost 24/7 this offseason to get stronger, improve his shot and yes his goal is to earn and keep his starting position. He has said, “I want to make Cleveland proud” way before Wiggins was selected. He tweets in the wee hours of the morning during workouts and sometimes even bikes in Philly.

    For over a week, he has been bombarded by disingenuous people asking him if he would rather start than be on bench. Well of course he said his goal was to start. Well Oh My God ! He’s not a team player. How dare he ! And this so called Dion fan immediately made hay out of the story NEGLECTING to tell you the other side on how hard he has been working to keep his spot!

    My own son is working hard this season to start in football and no one is calling him out as not at team player. Grow up. Overwhelming goals of athletes is to start and shouldn’t be condemned for it! Raising the bar for yourself is good thing.

    And by the way Kurt Helin get your stats right on Dion Waiters. Last 21 games Dion was promoted to start 19.5ppg. fg%45% 3P%40% and his best man 5 man line up is +39.5 Here’s the link.

  9. campcouch - Jul 15, 2014 at 11:51 PM

    Waiters’ jumper is just as suspect as Wiggins is…and he’s been a pro longer…and he couldn’t unseat Sloan or Miles in 2 years. I’m sure he won’t be able to bump Wiggins either. Ah, and thinking that you’re on par with the team’s best player might not help. You’re best on the bench…I mean a ridiculously highly drafted bench player…come to think of it, you were a bench player at Syracuse. WTH was Cleveland thinking? At least his college career did transfer over to the NBA so maybe they did have an idea.

    • tv63 - Jul 16, 2014 at 12:23 AM

      Sloan? Was a horrible backup point guard and Miles was crippled most of the season. DO you not read stats at all? Seriously? Look his stats up and look at his last 21 games when he got promoted. Miles didn’t even get 20ppg. Also while you’re at it look at George Pauls’s stats in his second year and compare to Dion’s and get back to me. He barely made 11ppg let alone 12.

      • campcouch - Jul 16, 2014 at 2:04 AM

        and he still didn’t start until injuries forced their hand.

  10. mazblast - Jul 16, 2014 at 12:54 AM

    Dion: I won’t be the sixth man.

    LeBron: OK, I’ll tell coach Blatt you’re gonna be the 11th man. Happy now?

    Someone needs to sit down with this knucklehead and tell him, “Chill. Let things sort themselves out. You never know what may happen. Someone could get hurt, someone could get traded, someone could need some bench time. Shut your piehole, get yourself ready, work on your jumper and your defense.”

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