2012 NBA Draft: Cleveland Cavaliers Select Dion Waiters, SG, Syracuse

With the fourth pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers selected Syracuse shooting guard Dion Waiters.

Having made a play for the second-overall pick prior to the draft, the Cavaliers were relegated to staying in their lottery-given spot and addressed a considerable weakness in their roster.

A dynamic scorer and relentless when driving to the rim, the 6-foot-4-inch Waiters averaged 12.6 points and 2.5 rebounds during the 2011-12 NCAA season. He possesses a style of play that is drawing comparisons to Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade including but not limited to his ability to play point guard if needed.

Waiters was the second-ranked shooting guard on the WFNY Not-So-Big Board, falling right behind Florida’s Bradley Beal who was drafted third-overall by the Washington Wizards.

[Related: WFNY 2012 NBA Draft Not-So-Big Board: Fin]

  • Ritz

    Just because he didn’t start doesn’t mean he played ‘behind’ other players. It’s who is on the court in crunch time that matters, not who is on the court during the opening tip.

  • AJ

    Its not like the league. In college your best players generally start. There’s much less gamesmanship and reliance on the 6th man. Using the 4th pick in the draft on an average scorer and average defender who had to split time with sub-par guards on an underachieving team doesn’t seem like the formula for building a championship team. Watch the players who come off behind him and let me know when another guy who didn’t start comes off the board.

  • Jack

    This pick is terrible. He doesn’t have one elite skill. He can’t shoot. He’s small. He’s not a great defender (and played ZONE! the whole way through college). This is an absolute bust. We now have an undersized backcourt who can’t guard anybody.

  • Jack

    Awful, awful pick.

  • Snacks

    HAHAHAHA!! Your funny Jack. You do know that info from bleacherreport.com is not the best way to analyze a player right?

  • Kizo

    Surprised by this, but I can’t claim for one second to know nearly enough about prospects to have an opinion on Waiters. Regardless of who fans wanted going into the draft, this is who we have, and any Cavalier deserves our support. Welcome to Cleveland, Dion. I hope you’re great.

  • nobody

    Hmm, based on what I’ve been hearing about this draft (no clear great player behind Davis), the Cavs may have got the second best player in this draft…only time will tell.

  • Ritz

    Who starts really does not matter… He played tons of minutes, just came into the game for the first time a few minutes later.

  • Ritz

    Well if they prepared the they didn’t really panic did they?

  • Jack


    And yes, I do. Big poo on Kyrie too since he chums out with Barnes.

  • TSR3000

    Dallas took Zeller for us.

  • Steve_Not_Chad
  • Wow


  • Steve_Not_Chad

    So much for watching the second round.

  • BenRM


  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Cavaliers traded remaining three picks to Dallas who drafted Tyler Zeller at #17. Another UNC big man I like it.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Yep I like it Zeller is rock steady not flashy but will start in the middle from day 1. Kinda similar to the day when the Cavaliers took another UNC center back in the day. Nice.

  • cmm13

    Well, lunch pay on up.

  • Roosevelt

    It would have been difficult to project a worse outcome than what actually happened. They took a guy who couldn’t start in college, a scorer who averaged 13 points a game, and a big, relatively unathletic white guy. We are coming off the finals, so as a point of reference, the Cavs have exactly one player who would ever potentially start for any of the final four teams. If TT develops beautifully, maybe two. You can’t win without finding diamonds in the rough, and you can’t find diamonds in the rough if you deliberately draft unathletic four year college guys. Oh, and you also can’t win if you totally blow the high picks either.

  • Omar’s Magic Glove

    After reading your last line, I could only assume you were talking about yourself as well. Get over the TT pick. It was a quality pick, just move on.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Darn… can’t say I’m not disappointed. Sure, Waiters could end up making us all look dumb, but from what I’ve seen he can’t shoot, he can’t pass/turns the ball over too much, and he’s kind of small for an NBA shooting guard. He’s got a lot of work to do… hope he’s up for it.

  • Um, Beal was gone.

  • floydrubino

    Just move on that it is 2 years in a row where they pass on talent to pick for a need. Grant stinks and you defending the TT pick basically shows your ability to assess talent.

  • Steve

    That was the case no matter what, and as Ben said, or the best.

  • Steve

    The Cavs just picked up 2 solid players, who will be key contributors down the road. The problem is, I don’t think they got the potential 2nd star they desperately needed. Unless they get lucky in the draft next year or Irving turns into a bonafide MVP candidate, I don’t see how they break 50 wins. They’ll be a nuisance to the legit contenders, but never really threaten them – say Indiana this year. I know, Gilbert wants to build a deep roster with a bunch of solid players, like the 04 Pistons. But that was an incredibly good set of circumstances for that team, that didn’t have a real long run anyway. That’s not a model to follow. Take chances. You need stars to win in this league, go at least take a shot at getting them.

  • Dinner

    A trade was made, but it didn’t include any of your players suggested. No deal!!

  • Yup

    Wow, a lot of typically uninformed comments here. The fact is, fools, is that Waiters is 4th on Hollinger’s draft rater this year. Far ahead of both Beal and Barnes. Furthermore, Hollinger got it totally right with Kyrie ( the only guy who called Kyrie as all-star right out if the box) and with TT. So there’s every reason to believe this too is a great pick. In fact, the draft rater has been most accurate in picking wings and MKG and Waiters were the top 2 wings this year. Get hip, squares…

  • Hypno_Toad

    Grammar corrections. Really?

  • Hypno_Toad

    It doesn’t matter. OUTRAGE!!!

  • porckchopexpress

    Even if you hate this pick, you at least have to acknowledge giving T-Rob to the Kings helps in getting that first rounder out of them. I think that no matter what else we can assume that after Beal and Barnes worked out together it is clear that the Cavs brass did love Beal, but this pick shows that they saw something in Barnes that scared the poo out of them. We can also guess that they at least had a couple partners in mind to move back up to get a big man they wanted, which makes the passing on Robinson a little more understandable.

  • Yup

    Here’s what actual scouting PROFESSIONALS say about our two picks. Read this and again tell me how disappointed y’all ar in our picks… http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/seth_davis/06/25/NBA-draft/index.html

  • Yes, I knew that, Scott. I meant that it would have been better had he gone to us, either by hook or by crook.

  • Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate.
    -Sun Tzu

    sorry, couldn’t help myself.

  • Jack

    Yes, only if the miscue is part of an insult. Of course, Snacks may’ve been dubbing me “Your Funny Jack,” akin to “Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man.” So you’re* right, I was probably being harsh. I withdraw!

  • it’s a little unfair to kill grant for reaching for TT and then use klay thompson as your alternate. i mean –yes he woulda been a great pick and yes robinson+thompson [appears now] > TT+waiters– but no one was talking about him at 4. (apologies if you were.)

  • floydrubino

    Yeah TT is a real great player. lol
    He probably liked 20 players and got a couple right.
    Where was he with the Jonas rating because he is better than TT.

  • Ritz

    And you know that how? Been to Europe and seen him play I assume…

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I’m coming around a bit on waiters and I have liked zeller the whole time, but I’m not sure how you can think a comparison to Rodney Stuckey is a good thing. I want better out of the #4 pick than Stuckey, and hopefully Waiters will be better.