The 21-year-old shooting guard was a surprise draft selection for the Cleveland Cavaliers, so much so that on that hot Cleveland night the entire arena gasped and some even booed as Dion Waiters was announced as the Cavaliers’ newest player. Dion has been through a lot in his young life and he wasn’t going to let that get to him, but just how far can he go within the NBA?
One thing that has allowed the Cavaliers’ fans to take a shine to Dion is the huge emotion he puts into each and every play. The No. 4 selection played 61 games, starting 48, averaging 14.7 points per game. Not bad for somebody that had been booed a few months earlier. Dion was so impressive that he earned a spot on the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team, but how will he build on his impressive first year?
Dion is used to being scrutinized needlessly. In an interview with the Cavaliers website he said: “If I didn’t score 35, I had a bad game when I was growing up.” This shows he has always been able to elevate his game to a higher level. Dion may not be Kyrie Irving, but he can be just as important to this franchise. At times when Kyrie was hurt, Dion was the guy to step up and handle the ball, winning games for the Cavaliers.
This year he has help in a healthy Kyrie alongside him, and he has a year of experience to fall back on. So can Dion make it to the next level similar to the growth Irving showed in his second year? One way or another, Dion is an important member of the Cavaliers’ organization.