Why waste the fourth pick on a guy, just to trade him while he's still on his rookie deal? Oh, and the same guy has made the All-Rookie NBA team and is averaging 15.9 points in his sophomore campaign. The Cavs know why, and it's another Kyrie Irving involved drama. Only this time, it's not his fault.
With the fourth pick in the '12 NBA Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers selected Dion Waiters from Syracuse University. Fast forward two and a half seasons, Waiters ended up in Oklahoma, as a part of a three-team deal, with Cleveland taking back Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith. The deal did wonders for the Cavs, as both Smith and Shumpert played key roles in winning the Cavs' only NBA championship in '16. But why did the trade happen in the first place? Why did Cleveland give up on a 23-year-old guard so quickly?
The team’s executives at the time thought Waiters would be a perfect fit off the bench if LeBron ever returned. The Cavs did eventually get a chance to see if that was right, but Waiters and the organization had already accumulated years of baggage because he and the team’s resident budding star, Kyrie Irving, never got along.
I see where the Cavs were going when they took Waiters. He was supposed to be their offensive weapon in the case of LeBron coming back home. Dion was the perfect fit as an additional ball-handler who can come in, create offense for himself as well for the others, and take some load off both James and Irving.
Now, this still doesn't justify Cleveland passing up on the likes of Damian Lillard, Draymond Green, or Kris Middleton, but you get the rationale behind their selection. They envisioned Waiters as the leader of the Cavs' bench unit, but Dion had other plans, and they were coming from the place of pure fallacy.
Waiters and Irving always disliked each other, no matter how much the organization tried covering it. Waiters couldn’t understand why Irving, the No. 1 overall pick in 2011 and the NBA Rookie of the Year, was thought to be the better of the two by most deep thinkers inside the organization.
Like I said - a pure fallacy. No Dion, at no point, you were a better player than Kyrie Irving. Not when you were teammates in Cleveland, nor at any point after you were traded from the organization that drafted you. I can go in detail, explaining why that's the case, but the gap between the two players is so huge that explaining it would be absurd.
You want your players to have a healthy amount of arrogance to them. You want them to be confident in their abilities. But this goes beyond your desirable character traits. This is simply a delusion, with not a single argument to back it up.
It's just another instance where poor ego management messed up with an individual. Because with Waiters, it was all downhill after the trade. I bet his approach had something to do with it.
Dion is currently playing for the Lakers. Who knows, he may be thinking he's better than LeBron.