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NBA Draft Rumors: Top 3 Teams Cleveland Cavaliers Could Trade Dion Waiters to in Top 10
As we grow closer to 2014 NBA Draft, it appears trading the No. 1 overall pick isn’t the only deal the Cleveland Cavaliers are discussing. According to tweets from Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio, “Cavs have talked w Sixers, Jazz, Magic and Timberwolves within past 24 hours, multiple sources say.” He then went on to tweet, “Also, Cavs have discussed Dion Waiters with team in top 10. Opposing team unconfirmed at moment.”
While most people assume the Sixers, Jazz, Magic and Timberwolves would be deals involving the No. 1 overall pick, it is the Waiters portion of his tweet that is intriguing. With a considerable presumed drop off in talent after the likes of Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker, a team in the Top 10 could be looking at a more proven commodity in Waiters.
Though many Cavaliers fans have been highly judgmental of Waiters since he was taken No. 4 overall in 2012, the combo guard has averaged 15.3 points per game in 29.2 minutes—pretty good numbers for anyone taken in the last two draft classes. When given control of the offense with Kyrie Irving on the bench or injured, Waiters has proven to be even better.
For that very reason, teams picking in the Top 10 could be highly interested in the former Syracuse guard. While Cleveland may not feel he meshes well with Irving, going to a team with a less ball-dominant point guard may be a better fit. To take it a step further, a team could even be considering trading for Waiters to run the point if they have an off-ball shooting guard who spaces the floor.
Who the team considering trading a Top 10 pick for Waiters is the biggest mystery—as Amico could not confirm it. Luckily for you, I have put my detective hat on to provide the three most likely teams.
Philadelphia 76ers—No. 10 Pick
Philadelphia is the first team that comes to mind in the Top 10, as Waiters has previously been rumored as a potential trade target of the 76ers. A native of Philadelphia, the 22-year old Waiters went to Syracuse with Michael Carter-Williams for one season (2011-2012). With some chemistry carrying over from their time in college, it could be a solid fit for Waiters to go to his hometown and play next to his old college running mate.
On top of that, the Sixers have plenty of cap space to absorb the contract of Waiters and extend him in the future as well. Add in the fact they really do not have a legit starting option at the shooting guard position, though Tony Wroten and James Anderson provided quality time last year, and it could be a perfect fit.
Boston Celtics—No. 6 Pick
This pick could really depend on how the draft plays out (Joel Embiid going before the Celtics pick), but Waiters could be a real option for the Celtics. With rumors that the team is looking to deal Rajon Rondo, the Celtics would be without any real long-term options at either guard position.
Avery Bradley is a restricted free agent (14.9 points per game last season), but outside of him the cupboard is pretty bare at the position. If the Celtics are looking to add an attacking guard who can open the floor for the rest of his teammates, Waiters could be their target.
Los Angeles Lakers—No. 7 Pick
At first glance, thanks to some guy named Kobe Bryant, it may not seem like a Waiters to the Lakers deal makes any sense at all. But then you take a look at the rest of the Lakers roster (or lack thereof), and you realize why the team needs to add potential impact players at any cost.
With very few players on their roster for next season, a guy like Waiters who is hard-nosed and isn’t afraid to attack the basket could really win over Lakers fans. If the draft plays out the way many think, the Lakers are going to be selecting between Kentucky’s Julius Randle, Arizona’s Aaron Gordon and Duke’s Rodney Hood. The Lakers may view Waiters as a better immediate, and long-term option than all of those players, and could surround him and Bryant with some big-time free agent acquisitions.
Will Waiters Really Get Moved?
This is the question on the minds of all Cavaliers fans. Personally, the potential impact of a player taken at one of these spots does not match what Waiters could provide next year so the move does not really make sense at this time. However, if the team is really concerned about his long-term fit with Irving and would rather move Waiters out of Cleveland, then you cannot really argue with acquiring another player in the Top 10 of this draft class.
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