A sore knee kept Cleveland Cavaliers rookie and No. 4 pick in the 2012 NBA draft Dion Waiters out of the final two exhibition games in the Cavs summer league. Waiters started in two of three summer games, missing his third start because of a uniform issue. In those three games the former Syracuse guard averaged 12.3 points, 3.0 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.0 steals in 30.0 minutes.
That sore knee may have bothered the way that Waiters shot the ball, as he struggled from field field (shooting at a 30.0 percent clip) and from beyond the three-point arc (shot 16.7 percent from three). He also averaged 2.3 turnovers this summer.
News broke on July 23, however, that Waiters is also having problems with an ankle injury that he was still having issues with before summer action started. This could have been one reason why his agent Rob Pelinka kept him from working out with teams before the draft.
That time when Waiters wasn’t working out and other rookies were busy trying to impress teams and increase their draft stock, he gained weight and lost any edge that he had as far as pre-draft conditioning goes. According to Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer Waiters entered summer training 10 pounds overweight and out of shape.
Waiters habits from college of staying late nights in the gym and even making multiple trips within a day have seemed to have carried over after he joined the Cavs. Cleveland has said that he “lives in the gym,” and the two guard needs to do just that if he wants to survive head coach Byron Scott’s grueling training camp.
Scott had this to say on Waiters’ injury problems:
We still feel pretty good about where he is. He’s still got a ways to go. We talked about his conditioning and losing a few pounds. But we feel he’s going to be in great shape when training camp comes.
So the way that Waiters played this summer had him atop the Cavaliers scoring sheet, but questions of his shooting form, shot selection and on-court awareness are some areas of concern for the rookie heading into training camp.
What did you think of Waiters’ play in his three exhibition game appearances?