Chris Broussard of ESPN.com broke the news today that Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard Dion Waiters is open to being shopped, and the Wine & Gold have begun trade discussions with multiple teams according to sources. After Cleveland’s tumultuous start to the season, many fans were calling for the team to make a deal because of the 4-10 start to the season that included a recent 1-6 run over the past seven games.
According to Broussard, who tweeted out the news Wednesday afternoon, the Cavaliers have spoken to the Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers so far in an attempt to work out a deal for the second-year shooting guard:
Sources: Cavs shopping Dion Waiters. They’ve spoken w/Chi, NYK & Philly. No deal imminent. Waiters is open to being traded.
— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) November 27, 2013
This season has been a rough one for Dion, as he is only shooting 38.9 percent from the field and 66.7 percent from the free throw line. Waiters inability to finish at the basket has been something that has plagued his short career in Wine & Gold, as he is currently shooting
Apparently Waiters has expressed interest in being traded ever since a locker room confrontation during a players-only meeting that the Cavs held after a blowout loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The supposed confrontation happened between Waiters and 2011 No. 4 draft pick Tristan Thompson. After Irving called the players-only meeting, every player had a chance to speak. This is what Dion had to say to Irving and Thompson:
When Waiters was given the floor, he criticized Thompson and Irving, accusing them of playing “buddy ball” and often refusing to pass to him. Thompson took umbrage with Waiters’ words and went back at him verbally. The two confronted each other but teammates intervened before it could escalate into a fight
The least attractive trade partner out of the three teams listed thus far has to be the Philadelphia 76ers, and also Waiters’ home town. They present no true starter at shooting guard that the Cavs would want to pair next to Kyrie Irving, and that’s a major concern right now with Matthew Dellavedova eating up most of the shooting guard minutes lately as a starter.
Chicago, who might be interested in shopping Derrick Rose after the injury and small forward Luol Deng, who will become a free agent next summer, and New York provide pieces that Cleveland would need (SG/SF) to round out their starting five. With New York stuck in a down spiral and Chicago clearly missing Rose, these two teams are both looking to still content in the East this season. No further teams have been announced as expressing interest in trading with Cleveland, but looking at the makeups of these three teams, they make the most reasonable trade partners. ESPN also reported that there are other unnamed teams in the discussion for Waiters.
With LeBron James of the Miami Heat coming to Quicken Loans Arena Wednesday to face off against the Cavs, he will surely receive a different, and less hostile reception from fans because of journalists like Kevin Pelton bringing up theories like this one:
Tonight’s meeting, the first between Cleveland and Miami this season, was supposed to be the Ghost of LeBron Future — a chance for the Cavaliers to demonstrate to James how far they’d come since then, and potentially even the start of a pitch to bring James back to Cleveland as a free agent next summer. Instead, with the Cavaliers mired in a disappointing 4-10 start to the season that has featured more players-only meetings (1) than wins by double figures (0), it serves as a painful reminder that their rebuilding plan has gone off track. The culprit? The front office’s failure to turn a bevy of high draft picks into production on the court.
As RDE co-editor Chris Manning pointed out this week, just stop with the LeBron talk. The Cavs are locked in right now at making a (possible) franchise-altering trade by sending away what was supposed to be one of their main core pieces for the future. It’s better to make a move like this now before a.) things continue to progressively regress for Dion or b.) teams have already made their early-season big moves, leaving the Cavs with Dion or with a less attractive trade. I like that this is being brought up now rather than later, because things need to change quickly in Wine & Gold country, or another reboot may be in the future.
ALSO: Make sure to check out Mike Schreiner’s piece on why Dion should be traded, that he posted today before any of this news came out.