In 2012, the Cleveland Cavaliers had the pleasure of drafting shooting guard Dion Waiters out of Syracuse at fourth overall. His rookie season was way more than satisfactory as he stepped into a starting role and took full advantage of it.
The 6’4” Waiters played an average of 28.8 minutes in 61 games last season as he started alongside Kyrie Irving in the back court. Averaging 14.7 points, 3.0 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game, Waiters thoroughly impressed around the league as one of the better picks in the first round last year.
Waiters twice scored over 20 points in three straight games last season and put up a career high of 33 points in a January loss to the Sacramento Kings. While he was quite impressive on some nights, there were also several games in which he scored under 10 points and played pretty poorly.
Of course being a rookie, growing pains are expected, and considering his age Waiters played very well throughout the season as a whole. Finishing with just over 41 percent shooting in 2012, though, Waiters will have some work to do when hit comes to his shooting.
He shot barely over 31 percent from three point range, which is an area the Cavaliers could use him to step up as well. In 2013 as a sophomore I would bet Waiters improves in both areas, especially due to the talent Cleveland has added this summer, allowing less pressure to be on the young guard on a game-to-game basis.
If Andrew Bynum winds up panning out next season for Cleveland, Waiters will benefit greatly and could really elevate his game to new heights. Having a big man like that and a point guard like Irving will be a fantastic supporting cast and the Cavs could wind up surprising people this year.