Dion Waiters is on his way out. The Cleveland Cavaliers are looking to deal him, and Waiters’ hometown of Philadelphia is one of those suitors.
Waiters could be a perfect fit for the Philadelphia 76ers, who are looking to ship swingman Evan Turner, who will be a free agent in the summer. Plus, the Sixers could add a shooting guard at a lower cost and open a small forward spot for either expected 2014 NBA top draft pick Andrew Wiggins or a free agent like Lebron James if they acquire one of those players.
Currently, the Sixers are out of playoff position, despite being early in the season. They could use a shooting guard like Waiters, who’s an upgrade over starting shooting guard James Anderson.
Philadelphia could be the best situation for Waiters, as he has been a headache for the Cavaliers since being drafted. Waiters is rumored to have a rocky relationship with some of his teammates, including forward Tristan Thompson during a players-only meeting on Nov. 13 this season. He also apparently got neighborhood residents upset last summer after hosting an “unruly and overcrowded” club-style pool party in the Philadelphia suburb of Perkasie, PA. The party allegedly had drug and alcohol use, as well as gun violence.
For the Sixers, Waiters provides scoring and is a defensive stopper. He’s averaging 13 points, 1.5 steals and three rebounds this season.
The only issue is that the Sixers would immediately lose top scorer and all-around player Turner. However, Turner will be asking for top dollar next summer as a free agent, and Sixers GM Sam Hinkie will most likely look in another direction from a bigger named player asking for a similar contract.
The 2012 draft’s fourth pick has seen his stats drop this season, and part of the problem is that his role has diminished this season.
Waiters, who went to four Philadelphia area high schools, including Bartram High School and Life Center Academy, might best fit in his hometown. Being in Philadelphia could him feel more comfortable and improve his game.