When you are an NBA team that is is poised to make noise like the Cleveland Cavaliers are everyone is going to have an opinion on just how to do that. Armed with the number one overall pick in this upcoming 2013 NBA Draft along with a mountain of cap space, Cleveland is focused on getting back to the playoffs in 2014, whatever it takes.
Well, maybe not by whatever it takes. I can tell you with almost full certainty that they will not part with Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson and, despite what some rumors suggest, Dion Waiters.
While looking over some of the more recent speculation over what the Cavaliers should do and how they should do it, one of the more prevalent thoughts is that they should package players and picks to get an All-Star. A wonderful thought and one that I could get behind if done right, but these same posts seem to think that Waiters should be one of the players involved in this trade.
Any deal like that wouldn’t be doing it right. More importantly, I believe that any thought that includes trading Waiters is just insane, an insanity that I readily believe that the Cavaliers would have no part of.
Look, let’s put aside personal opinion for a second and look at the facts. In his rookie season, Waiters averaged 14.7 points, three assists and two rebounds per game. At the end of the season Waiters was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team and was considered by many as the fourth best rookie out of the 2012 draft class.
More importantly, however, Waiters has shown the drive for improvement that could make him an eventual All-Star.
Waiters came into the Cavaliers summer league last year out of shape and not ready to go, but he started the season back in form. In the first half of his rookie season, Waiters showed poor shot selection, forcing many shots and looking lost at times. In the second half of his rookie season, however, he displayed better decision making, thus improving on all statistics across the board.
Fast forward to this offseason and early word has Waiters in great shape and working hard on improving his shooting touch.
Listen, I get that Waiters isn’t likely to be the next Dwyane Wade, but what he has shown is the potential to be the perfect complement to Irving. The Cavaliers know they would be foolish to get rid of that potential, and anyone who suggests they will, well, let’s just be kind and say they aren’t thinking straight.