A talented player, Dion Waiters. Also a player with plenty of ego and self confidence, seeing himself as a starter in the new look Cleveland Cavaliers, even if the personnel and the lineup suggests it would be better for everyone if he starts on the bench and gets the role of a sixth man.
Andrew Wiggins is the obstacle for Waiters on the floor. Wiggins is a small forward, but LeBron James joining the team should mean the number one draft pick will probably move to the shooting guard position, while Tristan Thompson plays power forward.
Obviously, Blatt has options. He can use Waiters and Irving in the backcourt together while Wiggins plays the ‘3’ and James plays the ‘4’. They can also make Wiggins a sixth man, but something tells me that’s not going to happen. Wiggins, right now, is probably inferior to Waiters in terms of shooting, but is most likely a much better defender.
The deciding factor? What LeBron James will want. If he suddenly tells David Blatt that he wants to play as a power forward (again, assuming that Kevin Love doesn’t land in Cleveland), then Dion Waiters will be a starter, not matter who fractured his relationship on and off the court is with Kyrie Irving. It will mean putting Andrew Wiggins at small forward and Tristan Thompson on the bench.
But a sixth man is a much more suitable role for Waiters. A great scorer who can really spark some life coming off the bench. Thompson isn’t a bad player, but he isn’t your classic sixth-man player, who suddenly pumps the team with energy and speed and can create points on his own out of nothing when a team is doing badly. Waiters might not like starting the game on the bench, but he fits that mold a lot better.
Maybe all of this doesn’t matter. If the Cavs do pull off that trade, Wiggins will be gone and probably so will Dion Waiters. Maybe the Cavs will end up with Kevin Martin, who did a good job as a Sixth Man for the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2012-2013. For now, the Cavs’ “problem” is Waiters and keeping him effective and happy. One of Blatt’s first tests will be finding a way to do it while not playing him as a starter.