Dion Waiters’ name has been thrown around in rumors ever since LeBron came back to Cleveland. There was speculation that he was going to be involved in the Kevin Love trade, and now there is speculation that he could be involved in a trade for a rim protector like Larry Sanders or Timofey Mozgov. The Cavs should be hesitant to pull the trigger on a trade that involves Waiters.

Dion Waiter was born to be a 6th man. That should be his role on an NBA team. Championship teams have 6th men they can bring off the bench that can provide a spark. Just look at what Jason Terry did for Dallas in 2011 and what Manu Ginobili did for the Spurs this previous season. Waiters has the ability to do the same thing.

Many people have been down on Waiters so far this year and rightly so. The transition of LeBron and Kevin Love coming to Cleveland has affected Waiters the most. He has only averaged 9 points a game with a shooting percentage of .354. But like everybody else, Waiters also needs to find his role on this team. He just needs time to do it.

It’s no secret that this team needs help on defense especially around the rim. But giving away Waiters at this point in the year would be a mistake. It’s an 82 game season. The Cavs don’t need to get a rim protector right this second. We have time. Also this team has lacked consistent scoring from the bench. Trading Waiters for a rim protector would solve the problem of having a rim protector but would give them limited scoring options from off the bench. Give Dion a chance to grow into his role. He is transitioning into become a 6th man which is a role that he excelled in while he was at Syracuse. Dion Waiters can be part of the core of this team for years to come. Remember any trade that you make that involves Waiters affects you down the road, not just for this year.

We have to remember that Waiters is only 22 years old. It’s obvious that Dion has a lot of maturing to do, but we need to give him time to do it. Dion has the ability to become what Manu Ginobili has been to the Spurs championship teams. In Ginobili’s first two seasons of getting consistent playing time he averaged 14.4 points per game in 29 minutes. James Harden only averaged 11 points a game in his first two seasons. Waiters averaged 15.3 points per game in 29 minutes a game in his first two seasons in the league. Those are good numbers. I’m not saying Waiters is going to turn into the next Ginobili or Harden but he’s earned the right to show he can contribute to this team. Just give him a chance to prove what he can do coming off the bench.

(pic credit: Cleveland Plain Dealer)

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