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Dion Waiters explains tweet saying he wouldn’t accept bench role

Jul 30, 2014, 1:30 AM EDT

2013 Cleveland Cavaliers Media Day 2013 Cleveland Cavaliers Media Day

Dion Waiters wants to start for the Cavaliers next season, and he made that clear in a recent tweet:!/dionwaiters3/status/488967142470348800

Case closed?

Not exactly.

The Cleveland guard expanded on his one-word (albeit elongated) response to a question on Twitter.

Waiters, via Chris Haynes of CSN Northwest:

“I want to start and I believe that I should at the two,” Waiters told

“I just say how I feel,” he said. “I’m going to do whatever is best for the team, of course, but at the end of the day, I’m a man and I’m confident in myself. I’ve always been a guy that gives it right to you. I’ve never been a guy that plays that political stuff. I was brought up that way. I’m straightforward. I give my honest opinion. I’m not going to sit here and hide. They asked a question and I tell you.”

This is why I encourage people to speak more openly with the media.

I did not read Waiters’ tweet this way at all. With limited contextual clues, I took it as him politicking for the starting role via social media.

Instead, he was doing the opposite – expressing his honest thoughts.

I wish more players would do that. I really respect where Waiters is coming from.

I don’t believe Waiters is good enough to start long-term, and the Cavaliers should start LeBron James and Andrew Wiggins on the wings as presently constructed – though a Kevin Love trade could change the roster makeup.

But this test – explaining what he really meant – Waiters aced. The next challenge will be handling coming of the bench if that’s what David Blatt asks of him.

Waiters might not accept resigning himself to a reserve role personally, but he still might handle it well enough outwardly. Before we blast Waiters for being selfish, let’s give him a chance to handle the situation – if it comes up.

Maybe he’ll come back next season improved and deserving of a starting spot, though I’m not counting on that.

  1. turkbox420 - Jul 30, 2014 at 2:07 AM

    Sure Lebron or the #1 pick in the draft are going to forfeit their starting spot for you Deon after your career is off to a lackluster start. Lebron is bored of MVP`s and is putting on his big boy pants to compete with Ginobili, Jamal Crwaford, and JR Smith for the 6th man spot. Haha

    In all reality I believe the 6th man spot is just as important as a starter. Unless you are a liability on D and is benched , 99% of the time the 6th man has the ball in his hands during crunch time and plays big minutes. No player should act disrespected being put in that role. It should be a player that loves to score`s dream to come in and be the energy guy and take over for a while.

  2. nfl4days - Jul 30, 2014 at 2:09 AM

    The only way Waiters is starting is if wiggins is involved in a trade for klove. Or he spontaneously grows 5 inches and puts on 20-25 pounds in order to take Anthony Bennett’s spot.

    • tv63 - Jul 30, 2014 at 9:24 AM

      What evidence do you have that he doesn’t start? Was there an official announcement from Coach Blatt? Wiggins just like any other rook has to prove himself and BE BETTER than Waiters stats. He’s not even close to 20ppg shooting fg%45% 3P40% Those are the stats of Waiters when he got promoted to start the last 21 games.

      If Wiggins wants it then get your Big Boy pants on and Take it From Waiters. Until then, you’re unproven.

      • domblaze - Jul 30, 2014 at 11:09 AM

        As if those “stats” will still in the 20 ppg range with LeBron on the floor. And you know what stats are better when he would be the 3rd option on the floor with LeBron and Kyrie? Plus/minus, steals, blocks, rebounds. Wiggins takes that job immediately if they don’t trade him.

  3. canucks30 - Jul 30, 2014 at 2:22 AM

    Dion Waiters, Ray Allen, and Mike Miller will split time at SG.

    LeBron James, Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving will handle the bulk of the scoring.

  4. zoomy123 - Jul 30, 2014 at 2:58 AM

    Dion Waiters is going to Philadelphia in the K-Love trade. And Cleveland will be getting back Kevin Martin.

    • fanofthegame79 - Jul 30, 2014 at 8:14 AM

      This is probably the most likely situation.

    • balsagna - Jul 30, 2014 at 8:29 AM

      Cleveland is not trading both of their 2 guards though. If Wiggins is traded I don’t see how they trade Waiters along with him. Going into the season with Mike Miller and Ray Allen as your two SGs is a problem.

      • philswfc08 - Jul 30, 2014 at 8:51 AM

        I’ve been saying that all along…people keep throwing out these 3-way trade ideas with the Sixers giving up Young and getting Waiters/picks/bad contracts, but that just can’t work for Cavs. No way they are trading Wiggins, Bennett AND Waiters to get Love…they’d be better off just dealing Waiters and picks to the Sixers for Thaddeus Young. And no I’m not saying Young is better than Love, but he could be a nice piece on the Cavs and they would get to keep their last two #1 picks.

      • pl4tinum514 - Jul 30, 2014 at 10:22 AM

        Waiters is already better than Thaddeus Young. Sorry.

      • spursareold - Jul 30, 2014 at 10:31 AM

        Nope, P514. I can’t agree. Flashy does not = better.

        Career PER stats
        Waiters: 13.7, 14.0
        Young: 16.5,15.3,14.0,18.4,18.9,18.2,16.6

      • zoomy123 - Jul 30, 2014 at 1:17 PM

        That’s why I said they’re getting back Kevin Martin.

        Honestly, if I was David Griffin this is what I would do: trade Thompson to NY for Prigioni and Shumpert. Then pick up Marion for the vet minimum. That would solve their perimeter defensive problems, net them a backup point guard, and pick up a veteran defensive/rebounding power forward. Then have Martin come off the bench as a 6th man like OKC did.

  5. bsplaincs - Jul 30, 2014 at 4:10 AM

    Here’s a thought….. Play like a starter and this will not be an issue!!! Ever.

    • tv63 - Jul 30, 2014 at 8:48 AM

      Play like a starter well why don’t you check his starter stats before you open your mouth?

      Last 21 games when Waiters got promoted to bench. (This is just too easy) 19.5ppg, shot 45%fg%, 3 point shot 3P%40% then there is the 5 man lineup +39.5 pts but he has astounding stats with many of the various line-ups.

      Before Lebron came, he was the 2nd best scorer next to Kyrie. SO he does play like a starter !

      • spursareold - Jul 30, 2014 at 10:27 AM

        On a crap team, brotha. On a crap team.

        His career PERs so far: 13.7, 14.0. By the definition of the stat, the PER for an AVERAGE NBA player is 15.0. He has never even been an average player yet.

      • justtoldya - Jul 31, 2014 at 5:19 AM

        He probably would be tied at 5th best player on the spurs. Can’t say he’s better then Timmy, Manu, Duncan, and leonard,

  6. campcouch - Jul 30, 2014 at 5:48 AM

    He played well when injuries moved him into the starting lineup,the problem is he did so with Irving out. If he can accept not dominating the ball, James is more than willing to give up points to anyone who can score for him.

  7. nokoolaidcowboy - Jul 30, 2014 at 6:32 AM

    Explaining tweets? When will they ever learn?

  8. ravenswhat - Jul 30, 2014 at 7:07 AM

    He would be the microwave part 2 on this team if he embraced that role. Problem is his agent is in his ear because he wants that fat commission on the next contract so he wants him starting.

    • duhwighthoward - Jul 30, 2014 at 1:57 PM

      Nice comparison. And you’re right on about the agent.

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