Dion Waiters: Starter or Sixth Man?

In 2014, social media is widely used by athletes so they can share breaking news and give their opinions on important, and not-so-important topics. Cleveland Cavaliers guard Dion Waiters is one that likes to get on Twitter a lot. A few weeks ago, when a fan asked him if he should be a starter or a sixth man, Waiter’s made sure his opinion was known. He believed that, based on what he has done so far in the NBA, he should without question be a starter.

When he tweeted this, many people began to ask the question: should Dion Waiters be the starter for the Cleveland Cavaliers or remain the sixth man?  Waiters has become a productive part of the Cavaliers offense during his first two years, but does that mean he should be a starter?

The Cavaliers’ roster looks very different than it did in Waiters’ first two season. First, LeBron James came back to the team to try to help them win a championship. Then just this past weekend, the team acquired All-Star Forward Kevin Love in a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves. They have also acquired free agents Mike Miller, James Jones, and Shawn Marion.

With LeBron, Kevin Love, Waiters, and All-Star Point Guard Kyrie Irving, the Cavaliers should not have a hard time scoring, unlike the first two season Waiters played for them. So again the question arises: Should Waiters start?

Waiters is without question the best shooting guard on the roster. The Cavaliers are looking to sign future Hall-of-Famer Ray Allen, but with Allen aging, Waiters would still be the best shooting guard on the team.

Many think that, with Waiters being the best at his position on the team, he should be a starter without a doubt. That is not the case though. If Waiters played with the starters, he would play with Irving, who almost averaged 21 points last season, Kevin Love who scored 26 points per game last season, and LeBron James who scored 27 points per game. With Dion Waiters being a scorer himself, there would be a lot of other scoring options on the court at the same time, all of whom need the ball. With that said, would Waiters even be able to score for himself playing with the starters?

The answer to that question is no. Love, LeBron, and Irivng are all more dominant than Waiters, so Waiters would be the fourth option. Coming off the bench would clearly be the best option for Waiters, so he can “get his own.”

The Cavaliers’ bench has some solid role players but no dominant scorers, so the team would have a significant drop off when the starters were on the bench. Unless Waiters plays with the rest of the bench players.

Waiters would be the main option who would carry the other four on the court. He would have a solid guard-forward combo with Tristan Thompson, as well as solid shooters in Mike Miller and James Jones to kick it out to if double teamed. Waiters would be the premier player coming off the bench and be able to do what he wants without multiple dominant scorers taking away his points.

The Cavaliers will unquestionable be a dominant team. With multiple scorers, their offense will be very explosive no matter what they decide to do with their rotations. However, I think their offense would be more effective the whole game if Waiters comes off the bench. It’s not about Waiters being a good player, it’s about what is best for the team.

 

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