Coming off the 2011-2012 season, the Cavs seemed to be in good hands after Tristan Thompson and Kyrie Irving contributed well in their rookie seasons, but heading into the 2012 draft, the team was in need of upgrading other positions on the roster. One such need was a shooting guard so the Cavaliers selected Dion Waiters, a tough as nails kid from Philadelphia, at fourth overall. It was a selection that drew a lot of surprise as many analysts were not expecting him to be drafted so high, but Cavs’ General Manager Chris Grant saw a lot of potential in the Philadelphia native and pulled the trigger.
Waiters had some games where he could not be stopped, such as, on January 14th, 2013 when he threw down 33 points against the Sacramento Kings. He was also picked to the 2013 Rising Stars All Star game with his teammate-Tyler Zeller. I remember thinking how great it was that these two players had made it and, seemed like Chris Grant did a great job in drafting both of them.
His sophomore campaign even succeeded his rookie numbers as Dion started to establish himself as a deadly shooter. He raised his field goal percentage to 43.3% and his three point shooting stood at an intimidating 36.8%. Despite not nearly as many game as his rookie year, Dion made the most of his opportunities including his first double-double in a loss against the Miami Heat on March 18th, 2014 and another 30 point game against the Atlanta Hawks on December 6th, 2013. One stat that also stood out to me was that Dion had a total of 195 rebounds that year, which is pretty impressive for a guard and how many minutes he played.
With the complete reconstruction of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2014 offseason, Dion’s role with the team was in question. The Cavs brought in Shawn Marion and James Jones to the roster which infracted on Dion Waiters’ playing time. As a result, we saw Dion’s numbers take a tumble and reports surfaced about frustrations in the locker room. With the turn of the year, the Cavaliers decided to trade Dion to the Thunder. Dion’s game was more about offense than defense and the Cavaliers needed major help on the defensive side of the court.
Thank you and good luck, Dion!