Anthony Bennett isn’t the only Cavalier who’s been turning heads this summer, though the former top pick’s body transformation has certainly taken Cleveland fans by surprise.
Fellow Cavs first rounder Dion Waiters was one of twelve young NBA stars named to the USA Basketball Select Team this afternoon. Waiters joins fellow third-year players Harrison Barnes, Miles Plumlee and Draymond Green as the United States’ representatives of the 2012 draft class.
#Cavs guard Dion Waiters picked to play on Team USA Select team. Will practice against national team, that includes Kyrie Irving
— Bob Finnan (@BobCavsinsider) July 22, 2014
Waiters averaged 15.9 points and 3 assists in just over 29 minutes a game for the Cavs last season. While his name has often been in the news for all the wrong reasons, Waiters brings intriguing potential and a dangerous skill set to the Cavaliers offense.
Former Cavs GM Chris Grant fell in love with Waiters before the 2012 NBA Draft, surprising many people around the league when he selected the Syracuse guard fourth overall despite his mid-first round grade. While there have been rumors of locker room dysfunction with Kyrie Irving and other teammates, Waiters play has seen steady improvement in each of his two years in the league.
Widely considered to be one of the potential movable pieces in a trade that could send Kevin Love to Cleveland, playing for Team USA could give Waiters an opportunity to showcase his unique skill set.
In addition, teaming up with some of the brightest young stars in the NBA will afford Waiters the opportunity to adjust to a lesser role, something he will have to come to terms with if he sticks around in Cleveland.
Between the free agent acquisitions of LeBron James and Mike Miller and the drafting of Andrew Wiggins, the talent pool in Cleveland is suddenly surprisingly deep. If Ray Allen enters the mix, Waiters could see his minutes cut nearly in half.
In addition, new head coach David Blatt’s Princeton style system doesn’t seem to be a good fit for a ball dominant shooter like Waiters. Only time will tell if this combination of factors could spell the end in Cleveland for Waiters.
Regardless of what his future in Cleveland holds, Waiters secured a prime opportunity to aid in his development by making the USA roster today. Cavs fans will be anxious to see what he can do when playing with top-notch talent and hope that Waiters can bring back some valuable experience with him.