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Dion Waiters: Kevin Love ‘thinks I’m underrated’ and ‘knows I pass the ball’

Aug 27, 2014, 7:22 PM EDT

Dion Walters, Kevin Love Dion Walters, Kevin Love

Dion Waiters, in many ways, seems to be the odd man out in Cleveland.

Waiters hasn’t shown much off-ball ability in his two NBA seasons, which made him a poor fit last year with another ball-handler, Kyrie Irving. How will Waiters handle playing with LeBron James and Kevin Love, too? Will Waiters really take a backseat?

He’s trying to put out word he’ll mesh with Cleveland’s newest stars.

Waiters said LeBron called him before announcing his free agent decision, and in case you wondering, Waiters fits with Love, too.

Waiters, via Mike Sielski of The Inquirer:

Whenever he’s in Los Angeles, Waiters also trains regularly with Kevin Love, who joined him and James with the Cavaliers as the primary piece of the three-team trade that sent Andrew Wiggins and Young to the Timberwolves.

"He likes my game," Waiters said. "He thinks I’m underrated. One of the things about K-Love, he knows I pass the ball."

Umm… Waiters ranked No. 193 in the NBA last season in passes per game – between Trevor Booker and Draymond Green, power forwards who had the ball less and played significantly fewer minutes than Waiters. If Love thinks Waiters is a passer, Love is wrong. (Waiters putting words in Love’s mouth is not reason to believe Love actually thinks this.)

But you can see why Waiters wants to convince the Cavaliers he belongs. Playing with LeBron, Love and Irving brings tremendous opportunities – and Waiters knows it.

Waiters, via Sielski:

"When I get the opportunity to get the ball, I’ve got to destroy my opponent," he said. "The rest of the floor is going to be so wide open that, once I get by him, the rest of it should be easy."

I practically see Waiters eyes light up as I read that quote. His strength could really create mismatches inside against other guards in David Blatt’s system.

But for Waiters to carve out a big role, he’ll actually have to prove he’ll pass. Otherwise, it’s easy enough to bury him on the bench or trade him.

  1. duhwighthoward - Aug 27, 2014 at 7:25 PM

    Does this mean Kevin Love will be the 4th banana?

    • nflcrimerankingscom - Aug 27, 2014 at 7:51 PM

      Dion Waiters thinks the Lebron/Love/Irving trio will be a solid supporting cast for him.

      • bkbell3 - Aug 28, 2014 at 2:25 AM

        Funny, he told the cavs that if they didn’t get him some good role players he was going to take his talents elsewhere.lol

  2. campcouch - Aug 27, 2014 at 7:33 PM

    Probably because he knows he was a corned beef sandwich away from being in Minnesota or Philadelphia. No I’m not knocking the teams, but the reality that playing with Love, James and Irving is a little better than the other two lineups. Next week he’ll state that Kyrie is one of the top 3 PGs in NBA history. Anything to be a starter on this team.

  3. ProBasketballPundit - Aug 27, 2014 at 7:45 PM

    If Greg Popovich had this roster he would go 80-2.

    Waiters is incredibly talented but by all accounts he’s a terrible locker room presence. If Blatt can keep everybody focused and get the ball moving like it should with all this talent… they’ll be dominant.

    • genericcommenter - Aug 28, 2014 at 12:02 AM

      Pop is no David Blatt.

    • limonadamas - Aug 28, 2014 at 4:04 PM

      Nah… Pop would rest half his starting lineup on any given night. First seed is first seed, regardless how many games up you are from the next team.

  4. brooklynnuggets - Aug 27, 2014 at 8:12 PM

    Trade him to Knicks for shump

  5. csbanter - Aug 27, 2014 at 8:14 PM

    Cavs all day on PBT, hello there are 29 other teams with off season news as well.

    • BrownsTown - Aug 27, 2014 at 9:17 PM

      I see you commenting on all of the Cavs articles.

    • mytthor - Aug 29, 2014 at 2:21 PM

      The Cavs went from the draft lottery to signing the best player in the league, trading for a top 10 player, and rightfully being the prohibitive favorites in the East, and reasonably the league. Most of the other title contenders don’t have 10% as much “news” going on as the Cavs. But we could get stories about Pop and his wine drinking retreat with his coaching staff…

  6. 88heatnation - Aug 27, 2014 at 8:43 PM

    I think he gets traded mid season after frustration raises and he realizes their are not enough balls to go around, with that offense and Kyrie and Bron heavy ball handling, a 3 and D guy would be more ideal to fit that role in the lineup and have Waiters carrying the load off the bench like Harden did in OKC, but I don’t think he wants that role. Plenty of teams would go for him and it would provide solid piece(s) in return. Probably a rim shot blocking protecting Center and a scorer. Larry Sanders having problems in MIL he led the league in blocks a couple seasons and just need a Veteran presence to straighten his attitude, add Gary Neal and you address both position of need.

    • duhwighthoward - Aug 27, 2014 at 11:01 PM

      ARE YOU BEING SARDONIC?

      IN ONE SENTENCE YOU SAID LARRY SANDERS NEEDS A VETERAN PRESENCE TO STRAIGHTEN HIS ATTITUDE, AND OF ALL PEOPLE YOU SUGGEST GARY NEAL.

      • sonnysuave - Aug 28, 2014 at 12:49 AM

        88heat was suggesting the Cavs trade Waiters for rim-protector Sanders (since Sanders could use the Cavs veteran presence), & add Neal as a 3&d guy… to address the Cavs weaknesses. Not that I agree with 88heat… but just clarifying what duh misread.

      • duhwighthoward - Aug 28, 2014 at 1:11 PM

        WAKE UP! THESE GUYS GOT INTO FIGHTS WITH EACH OTHER, AND TRADED O’NEAL AWAY BECAUSE OF IT.

      • duhwighthoward - Aug 28, 2014 at 1:12 PM

        THEY WOULD HAVE TRADED AWAY SANDERS, BUT NO ONE WANTED THAT RIDICULOUS CONTRACT OF HIS.

      • mytthor - Aug 29, 2014 at 2:22 PM

        It’s “Neal,” not “O’Neal.” And it’s “shift,” not “caps lock.”

  7. jazz11001 - Aug 28, 2014 at 12:59 AM

    Love is a bum. He thinks defense is underrated.

    • bougin89 - Aug 28, 2014 at 5:17 PM

      wwwwwhat?

  8. ravenswhat - Aug 28, 2014 at 7:17 AM

    You really don’t know how to do much but gun but by all means Dion, don’t let that stop your narrative.

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