Dion Waiters was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. After two seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers he has improved in nearly every category; the million dollar question on nearly every Cavaliers fan’s mind is whether or not he should be starting next season.
I think he should.
If you take a look at the depth chart there are only two shooting guards, with Waiters being one and Andrew Wiggins being the other. If the rumor involving Kevin Love being traded to the Cavaliers holds true, then Wiggins will be dealt leaving just Waiters as the only shooting guard on the roster. I don’t see any other options for coach David Blatt to employ under the current roster construct.
Let’s take a look at what Waiters has accomplished in his young career. In year one Waiters was 31 percent from three and 44 percent from inside the arc. Year two saw his percentages rise to nearly 37 percent from three and 45 percent from the floor, giving him for his brief career 34 percent from beyond the arc and 45 percent from the floor. These are very good increases and place him in the top 50 in scoring and No. 27 among shooting guards. Offensively speaking the guy’s game is good enough for him to be starting.
Defense is another matter altogether for Waiters. Waiters ranks 227th in the Association last season in defensive efficiency with opponents hitting 56 percent of their shots at the rim. He averaged less than one steal and one block per game. To say he needs to work harder on the defensive end of things is an understatement.
Luckily for Waiters there are a couple of things in his favor. Coach Blatt is an offensive minded coach, and with the possible addition of Love, along with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving on the floor, someone is going to be wide open; and that someone had better be able to knock down the three. Waiters fits that bill to a tee.
So, should Waiters be the starting shooting guard? My answer is why not? Unless the Cavaliers are able to sign Ray Allen it’s doubtful the club will be able to bring in someone who can do what Waiters has already demonstrated an ability to do, so it only makes sense, barring an injury or trade, to begin the season with Waiters at the two.