The Cleveland Cavaliers have been one of the most disappointing teams in the NBA so far this season, which is causing some unrest in the locker room and one unhappy camper in Dion Waiters, which has to do with his role coming off the bench and other things. It seems the issue has gotten so bad the Cavs are looking to trade the second-year player.
Waiters, another lottery pick by the Cavs that isn’t panning out exactly as planned, is averaging 13.8 points per game, slightly dropping from last season’s 14.5, but also in terms of minutes and shot attempts. However, turning into a sixth man hasn’t changed much about the way he’s playing – Waiters is a volume shooter, who loves having the ball in his hands for pick and roll situations (shooting only 36.2% from the field in those), ignoring his improvement as a catch and shoot player, hitting 46.4% of his attempts that way.
Rumors suggest Waiters isn’t happy with Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson, referring to the buddy ball the two have been playing together, ignoring Waiters. The more ludicrous suggestions point to a fight Thompson and Waiters almost got into in the dressing room, the two forced apart from each other before things got really ugly.
What do the Cavs want for Waiters? They’ve contacts the New York Knicks, hoping to get Iman Shumpert. They’ve reached out to the Chicago Bulls, hoping to reel in Luol Deng. They’ve also been in contact with the Philadelphia 76ers, “dreaming” of Evan Turner. The problem with all these offers? It’s hard to see any team actually agreeing to such a trade offer. Waiters doesn’t seem to be anything more than a decent shooter who takes too many shots (12.4) to get to middling scoring numbers. With all of the others, you get much more.
So what can the Cavs do? The Toronto Raptors might be an option, with Terrence Ross providing the swap mate. The two aren’t that different in position and style, but Ross isn’t as outspoken as Waiters, and might provide the Cavs with someone who doesn’t argue that much with bigger stars than him on the team. Waiters is a bit more versatile than Ross, who doesn’t do much but hit open three pointers.
There’s also the Charlotte Bobcats option, who have plenty of players they’d like to get rid of, but it’s hard right now to see anything happening, even though the Bobcats would love to add some pieces to their terrible offense. The Utah Jazz is another name that might come up, with the Alec Burks for Waiters trade not sounding too bad for both sides.