Dion Waiters VS. The Cavaliers

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Dion Waiters is getting ready to play in Cleveland this Sunday, but this time he’ll be wearing the opposing team’s colors. Waiters will be playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder this Sunday against the Cleveland Cavaliers, and it is definitely one of the more anticipated games of the season for both teams.

Did we expect Waiters to be on a different team at this point in the season? Maybe. Did we expect J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert to be members of the Cavs and have Waiters playing for OKC? Probably not. Waiters’ move to the Thunder probably came as a bit of a shock to most of us. The Thunder had strong depth in both guard positions before acquiring Waiters, so the fact that he was going to be playing for them was a surprise. Before Waiters was shipped to OKC, his name came up often in trade rumors, and when center Anderson Varejao was lost for the season, it seemed like it was only a matter of time until Dion was off the team.

Waiters’ trade came during a game against the Philadelphia 76ers. He was in the starting lineup, anxious to play in his hometown of Philadelphia, with many old friends and family members in attendance. However, his homecoming didn’t go as he had hoped, because Waiters was pulled from the bench, and was told that he had been traded to the Thunder. While the game was going on, Cleveland fans were probably paying more attention to the details of the trade instead of the actual game itself. Many were upset to see Waiters go, but it most likely was going to be better for the Cavaliers moving forward.

It may have seemed that Waiters would fit better in OKC, but so far the numbers have been similar to those in Cleveland. In his 33 games this year for the Cavs, Waiters averaged 10.5 PPG and 2.2 APG. In his 8 games for the Thunder, Waiters is averaging 11.4 PPG and 1.8 SPG. His points and steals have slightly gone up during his time in Oklahoma City, but overall his numbers are similar. Of course, the change of scenery is going to take some getting used to, but combine his numbers with his attitude, and it doesn’t seem like the Cavs are missing out on much right now.

Waiters may not be playing his best, but that can all change this Sunday. We know he is going to be motivated to face his former team, which can spell trouble for the Cavaliers. This is a similar situation to when Andrew Wiggins and the Minnesota Timberwolves came into town a few weeks ago. We knew Wiggins was going to be playing motivated, and it sure did show on the court. Wiggins had a game-high 27 points against the team who drafted him, and traded him and others for Kevin Love in the offseason. Wiggins may not have actually played a game for the Cavaliers before the trade, but he still had something to prove that night. Dion Waiters, on the other hand, spent almost two-and-a-half years in Cleveland, and he will be ready to make his return this Sunday.

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