This summer has been absolutely amazing for any Cleveland sports fan. First, the Browns drafted Johnny Football in dramatic fashion. The Cavs won the lottery (with just a 1.7% chance) and received the number one pick in the NBA draft, and the front office re-signed PG Kyrie Irving just as free agency began. Of course, it’s no big deal but the greatest basketball player of all time is returning home. Yes, LeBron James is back, and he’s here to stay.

Crazily enough, it didn’t stop there. The Cavs traded elite college player Andrew Wiggins, drafted with the first pick, to the Minnesota Timberwolves and received PF Kevin Love in return. Love averaged 26.2 points and 12 rebounds a night last season. This set up our very own “Big 3,” something that King James desperately needed in his first stint with Cleveland, and has finally gotten this time around., pub-2319592412860037, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0

But truthfully, the Cavaliers have a “Big 4.” It’s a man that’s been carrying much of the load for the past three seasons that is being overlooked. His name is Dion Waiters, and he plays the game of basketball with a mean and determined attitude. He can shoot the jumper, but more importantly he has the tenacity to take it to the hole for a strong finish more times than not.

As the summer months ticked on, countless Cavs fans called for Waiters to be traded instead of Wiggins. These fans would rather have an unproven rookie with a personality considered to be very “soft,” over a potential All Star who has a winning attitude, and has proven to every one that he can play at the NBA level. It’s Dion Waiters I want out on the floor during a grind-it-out Eastern Conference Finals affair with the Chicago Bulls. Andrew Wiggins may succeed, but never with the Cavs.

Dion Waiters was dominant on a bad basketball team. Imagine how great he can be on a championship caliber squad…

Now many cited Waiters’ “poor” relationship with guard Kyrie Irving as a reason to trade him instead of rookie Andrew Wiggins to Minnesota for Kevin Love. That’s incredibly ridiculous, as these are grown men, professionals, players that definitely are able to work out their differences on and off the court if there even were any to begin with these past few seasons.

Out of Syracuse University, in just his second professional season, Waiters averaged 15.9 points a night. A number that qualifies Waiters as more than just a role player. Sure, he may come off the bench, but what great team doesn’t have a strong bench? Basketball is still basketball starting or not.

This season, look out. Dion Waiters is going to be the X-Factor on the Cavaliers, at least to the rest of the world.  Cleveland fans already know just how great he is. Now having LeBron James on his side, Dion will have an abundance of opportunities to make incredible plays. The Cavaliers have a Big 4, and it’s Dion Waiters that is that 4th horseman. Saddle up, because it’s going to be one hell of a season, and Dion Waiters will be a big reason why.

-Zach Shafron


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