Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cavs first round pick Dion Waiters gets to the rack

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Thursday night, the Cavaliers followed through on HOURS of speculation that started, well, earlier Thursday, and indeed took Syracuse sophomore shooting guard Dion Waiters with the #4 pick. The first three picks dashed the hopes of the wine and gold faithful, when Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and Bradley Beal went off the board. Cavs fans had started to cope with the prospect of the enigma Harrison Barnes, but then David Stern fought through the boos to deliver Waiters to Cleveland.

I have to admit, I'm not the biggest college basketball nerd out there. I may be the least of college basketball fans (as I'm one of the minority who prefers the pro game). But I have read up about the draft quite a bit. I'd been so heavily invested in a small (5 or 6) group of players who I thought the Cavaliers would consider, that I didn't even look at Dion Waiters until today.

But I won't join the cacophony of morons on Twitter who immediately think this is a "reach" or a "bust" even though they have no idea whatsoever what they are talking about. Granted, even my (minimal) immediate reaction was disappointment, but that was mostly formed when the ping pong balls didn't bounce our way. I'm willing to give the team scouts some benefit of the doubt, that they know a lot more than me, and an infinite amount more than your average guy with 140 characters and half an idea.

So I went back and read some bits about Waiters. And no matter what else you say about him, it's clear. Dude can score. And dude likes to shoot. He's a chucker, as Constanza would say...but an effective one. Even though he came off the bench exclusively for the Orangemen, he scored at an extremely high (and efficient level. 

The money quotes came from Chad Ford. "A guy who can get to the basket at will and finish around the basket...Dion Waiters is the one guy who can do that in this draft...if all of the guards played one-on-one in a tournament, I think Waiters would come out on top."

And then he compared Waiters to Dwayne Wade. Which I took as hyperbole, until I saw Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim do it in the DraftExpress video. Well, he is built more or less like Wade. Just a good deal softer. Maybe a bit more time running laps and doing burpees and a little less time at Baskin-Robbins this summer, and he will be cut like granite come November.

Here's the scouting breakdown video from Mike Schmitz at Naturally, I didn't include it in the "complete" rundown of videos of potential Cavs picks yesterday.