I wanted MKG or Bradley Beal, and would have been okay with Harrison Barnes. When I heard the rumors of the Cavs possibly “reaching” for Dion Waiters, I immediately thought it was a smokescreen. Then when MKG went second to the Bobcats, and Beal went third to the Wizards, I expected Harrison Barnes to be the next guy to walk up the stage and shake the commissioner’s hands.
The draft clock counted down to the final seconds, and Stern announced the newest Cavalier, “Dion Waiters.” I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t happy…kind of annoyed actually. I walked away from the TV, and glanced back occasionally to see if we traded for Barnes at 7. That didn’t happen either, and I immediately thought, “what a waste of a night!”
Things started looking better when we traded up to select Tyler Zeller, the center from UNC. I’m no draft scout, but he was a guy who had caught my eye while trying figure out if Barnes would be someone I could get excited about (I never got excited about Barnes). Zeller was projected to go somewhere in the top 12, but we got him at 17 (via trade with the Mavs). I liked the move last night, and I still like it today. Watching this guy play, it is hard for me to believe that he is 7 feet tall because of how well he runs the floor.
After fuming a little bit about Dion Waiters, I realized it was a bit unfair for me to jump to conclusions. I don’t watch a lot of college basketball, and I hadn’t really heard of the guy before. How could I really judge a pick if I had never seen a player play? So I started to read a bit more about the guy, and my opinion has started to change.
Sam Amico of FSO tweeted:
Several GMs admitted they kept their mouths shut about Dion Waiters before draft, in hopes he’d slide. More tomorrow, I promise.
Opposing GM told me Waiters “exactly what that team needs; those fans are gonna love him.” … Why? “He is gonna score, doesn’t back down from anyone and always believes he’s best player on floor,” GM said. “Gutsy, cocky kid with the skills to match. He’ll represent Cleveland well.”
I also watched the post-draft interview with Cavalier’s GM, Chris Grant, and head coach, Byron Scott. Grant was obviously happy about the pick, but Scott seemed quite a bit giddy. Apparently, this wast the pick he wanted all along. I really like both Grant and Scott. I think I can trust them on this one. You can watch the presser here: Post Draft Presser
Lastly, if you haven’t already, watch this guy play. He passes the eye test, and looks like a NBA player already.
I don’t think I am completely sold yet, but this guy has the potential to be the steal of the draft. Like any other draft pick, it is almost impossible to tell how he will pan out until the season actually begins, but here’s to the future. Go Cavs!