Why was Dion Waiters the 4th overall pick?

Draft talk all year round

Moderators: Ruzious, Marcus

User avatar
azcatz11
Head Coach
Posts: 6,444
And1: 7,165
Joined: Apr 13, 2017
Location: Phoenix

Why was Dion Waiters the 4th overall pick? 

Post#1 » by azcatz11 » Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:42 pm

I'm not trying to pile on this guy but why? A smallish PG and honestly he was good at Syracuse but not great. He wasn't a hugely highly touted HS player either and doesn't have elite athleticism or shooting.

What on earth were the Cavs thinking with this pick?

Looking for devils advocate opinions if possible
pcbothwel
Assistant Coach
Posts: 3,868
And1: 1,394
Joined: Jun 12, 2010
     

Re: Why was Dion Waiters the 4th overall pick? 

Post#2 » by pcbothwel » Sun Dec 1, 2019 12:25 am

Not a fan...but ok.
As a shooter/scorer, he was as good or better than the other wings drafted in the top 10 (Beal, Ross, and Barnes) and a better playmaker than all of them. He was about equal as a defender as well.

Like Beal, he was somewhat a jack of all trades, master of none type player. Beal simply has a much higher IQ and work ethic.

His college stats line up with other guards drafted between 5-10 over the last 7-8 years (Knight, Smart, KCP, Murray, etc.)
nolang1
Analyst
Posts: 3,115
And1: 1,463
Joined: Aug 03, 2012

Re: Why was Dion Waiters the 4th overall pick? 

Post#3 » by nolang1 » Sun Dec 1, 2019 12:43 am

He didn't do workouts, and as you'll see in the leadup to this draft as well as any other, the players who play the most have the most opportunity to have their weaknesses picked over. This was also very early in the advanced stats era where "more steals = good player" qualified as sage advice even though Waiters was just playing the passing lanes in a zone defense in college.
User avatar
azcatz11
Head Coach
Posts: 6,444
And1: 7,165
Joined: Apr 13, 2017
Location: Phoenix

Re: Why was Dion Waiters the 4th overall pick? 

Post#4 » by azcatz11 » Sun Dec 1, 2019 12:58 am

pcbothwel wrote:Not a fan...but ok.
As a shooter/scorer, he was as good or better than the other wings drafted in the top 10 (Beal, Ross, and Barnes) and a better playmaker than all of them. He was about equal as a defender as well.

Like Beal, he was somewhat a jack of all trades, master of none type player. Beal simply has a much higher IQ and work ethic.

His college stats line up with other guards drafted between 5-10 over the last 7-8 years (Knight, Smart, KCP, Murray, etc.)


You're right. I didn't realize KCP was drafted that high either or else I wouldn't have created this thread. I just thought he was an extreme outlier but I'm wrong
Stillwater
RealGM
Posts: 10,187
And1: 2,574
Joined: Jun 15, 2017
   

Re: Why was Dion Waiters the 4th overall pick? 

Post#5 » by Stillwater » Tue Dec 3, 2019 11:55 pm

Because Byron Scott thought having 2 ball dominant guards who can score in multiple ways would be good together...
water aint the mirror unless you steal it
2019 REALGM draft contest winner
King Ken
General Manager
Posts: 8,107
And1: 4,735
Joined: Jul 01, 2014
   

Re: Why was Dion Waiters the 4th overall pick? 

Post#6 » by King Ken » Wed Dec 4, 2019 1:16 pm

Cavs used analytics and thought they had a potential two way steals when the game tape was never that good and he just never looked that smart on either end of the court. Most people didn't even have him going in the lottery.

That said, as someone mentioned, this was during the early years of analytics. Nowadays, analytics would have seen who he is for what he is.
King Ken
General Manager
Posts: 8,107
And1: 4,735
Joined: Jul 01, 2014
   

Re: Why was Dion Waiters the 4th overall pick? 

Post#7 » by King Ken » Wed Dec 4, 2019 1:22 pm

azcatz11 wrote:
pcbothwel wrote:Not a fan...but ok.
As a shooter/scorer, he was as good or better than the other wings drafted in the top 10 (Beal, Ross, and Barnes) and a better playmaker than all of them. He was about equal as a defender as well.

Like Beal, he was somewhat a jack of all trades, master of none type player. Beal simply has a much higher IQ and work ethic.

His college stats line up with other guards drafted between 5-10 over the last 7-8 years (Knight, Smart, KCP, Murray, etc.)


You're right. I didn't realize KCP was drafted that high either or else I wouldn't have created this thread. I just thought he was an extreme outlier but I'm wrong

He was an outlier. Don't let that man fool you, he wasn't supposed to go that high. Many scouts questioned his potential and NBA readiness from the jump. For KCP and Beal's lack of shooting and playmaking skills, Beal showed that he has the ability draw fouls at UF and to score at a dominant level as a prep and KCP showed he could defend better than all three.

Scouts say time and time again that Beal would pro than college player which happened. Scouts questioned KCP shooting but they felt he helped in other areas offensively and he could be an all NBA defender which hasn't happened yet. Most scouts seen Waiters as a 6th man, Cleveland saw more. Waiters reached that level for a short period with Miami before injuries derailed him
nolang1
Analyst
Posts: 3,115
And1: 1,463
Joined: Aug 03, 2012

Re: Why was Dion Waiters the 4th overall pick? 

Post#8 » by nolang1 » Wed Dec 4, 2019 3:03 pm

King Ken wrote:Cavs used analytics and thought they had a potential two way steals when the game tape was never that good and he just never looked that smart on either end of the court. Most people didn't even have him going in the lottery.

That said, as someone mentioned, this was during the early years of analytics. Nowadays, analytics would have seen who he is for what he is.


The irony of that is that Jerry West also decided Waiters had the 'it' factor, which I think led other teams to value him even more. Just goes to show that even the best get it wrong sometimes.
King Ken
General Manager
Posts: 8,107
And1: 4,735
Joined: Jul 01, 2014
   

Re: Why was Dion Waiters the 4th overall pick? 

Post#9 » by King Ken » Wed Dec 4, 2019 3:30 pm

nolang1 wrote:
King Ken wrote:Cavs used analytics and thought they had a potential two way steals when the game tape was never that good and he just never looked that smart on either end of the court. Most people didn't even have him going in the lottery.

That said, as someone mentioned, this was during the early years of analytics. Nowadays, analytics would have seen who he is for what he is.


The irony of that is that Waiters was also someone Jerry West decided had the 'it' factor, which I think led other teams to value him even more. Just goes to show that even the best get it wrong sometimes.

He did a killer instinct at Cuse and even at times in the NBA but West really missed on his lack of BBIQ. It's strange as West is usually great at catching that
Stillwater
RealGM
Posts: 10,187
And1: 2,574
Joined: Jun 15, 2017
   

Re: Why was Dion Waiters the 4th overall pick? 

Post#10 » by Stillwater » Wed Dec 4, 2019 4:25 pm

King Ken wrote:
nolang1 wrote:
King Ken wrote:Cavs used analytics and thought they had a potential two way steals when the game tape was never that good and he just never looked that smart on either end of the court. Most people didn't even have him going in the lottery.

That said, as someone mentioned, this was during the early years of analytics. Nowadays, analytics would have seen who he is for what he is.


The irony of that is that Waiters was also someone Jerry West decided had the 'it' factor, which I think led other teams to value him even more. Just goes to show that even the best get it wrong sometimes.

He did a killer instinct at Cuse and even at times in the NBA but West really missed on his lack of BBIQ. It's strange as West is usually great at catching that

waiters rode an incredibly lethal 6th man role offensively straight into byron scotts head and the cavs front office at the time was terrible at player assessment even though this pick was explained away as positional need, i mean they got the kyrie pick right but there were several fools in that war room that wanted williams.then with the waiters selection
they drafted a prospect with proven scoring ability on ball to play off ball next to a ball dominant on ball guard. duh
water aint the mirror unless you steal it
2019 REALGM draft contest winner
The_Hater
RealGM
Posts: 71,176
And1: 24,447
Joined: May 23, 2001
     

Re: Why was Dion Waiters the 4th overall pick? 

Post#11 » by The_Hater » Thu Dec 5, 2019 5:10 pm

azcatz11 wrote:I'm not trying to pile on this guy but why? A smallish PG and honestly he was good at Syracuse but not great. He wasn't a hugely highly touted HS player either and doesn't have elite athleticism or shooting.

What on earth were the Cavs thinking with this pick?

Looking for devils advocate opinions if possible


The Cavs didn’t exactly reach here, a lot of draft experts loved his potential and had him going in that range or just a bit lower during the draft. This wasn’t exactly an Anthony Bennett like jaw dropper.

And I don’t think talent is Waiters problem, he’s got a scorers mentality but the handle and the inside/outside game necessary to pull it off. Plus he as the athleticism and strength to be a plus defender. His issues are in no particular order: a terrible attitude, an inflated ego, a poor bball IQ which leads to his terrible shot selection and he never worked hard off the court to get into great shape.
AthensBucks wrote:Lowry is done.
Nurse is below average at best.
Masai is overrated.
I dont get how so many people believe in the raptors,they have zero to chance to win it all.


April 14th, 2019.
GreatWhiteStiff
General Manager
Posts: 8,425
And1: 6,549
Joined: Oct 17, 2011
Location: #EmbraceTheTreadmill
 

Re: Why was Dion Waiters the 4th overall pick? 

Post#12 » by GreatWhiteStiff » Fri Dec 6, 2019 7:14 am

He did get a lot of steals and was pretty efficient in college I think, their "analytics" were high on him, though I'm not quite sure what analytics those were. The inefficiency/shot selection didn't really show up in college I think.
"Yes because he completely turned around a disastrous 5-12 team and helped them in every facet of the game. If Melo keeps it up, he is legit MVP candidate."

-EricMillegan
User avatar
UcanUwill
RealGM
Posts: 15,347
And1: 10,454
Joined: Aug 07, 2011
   

Re: Why was Dion Waiters the 4th overall pick? 

Post#13 » by UcanUwill » Fri Dec 6, 2019 12:48 pm

I remember he was a reach even at a time, it was the time CAVS tried to outsmart everyone reaching on Thompson, Waiters and of course Bennett.
BlazersBroncos
Starter
Posts: 2,270
And1: 1,635
Joined: Oct 27, 2016

Re: Why was Dion Waiters the 4th overall pick? 

Post#14 » by BlazersBroncos » Fri Dec 6, 2019 3:47 pm

In a weird way I feel like, if he was developed right and didn't have top-5 pick expectations, he could have been sorta like a big guard version of Bobby Jackson. Albeit IDK if the energy was there.
HotelVitale
General Manager
Posts: 8,161
And1: 4,078
Joined: Sep 14, 2007
Location: West Philly, PA

Re: Why was Dion Waiters the 4th overall pick? 

Post#15 » by HotelVitale » Sun Dec 8, 2019 2:53 am

He was strong and quick for his size and it looked like he could get to the rim at a very high level, and also had plenty of potential as a shooter. Was a perfectly good three-level scorer prospect, and he also played his limited role well at Syracuse and seemed likely to be able to do more at the next level. He was a very solid top-10 pick, just turned out to be kinda knucklehead and didn't reach any potential.

He wasn't a weird pick, and people saying he was 'reach' should clarify that he was a pretty clear top-10 pick that happened to go a few spots higher than most thought but that wasn't definitely a worse prospect than guys taken within the next couple of picks. (It wouldn't have been crazy for the Cavs to take Rui at #5 this year right?)
Kobblehead
RealGM
Posts: 28,017
And1: 11,836
Joined: Apr 15, 2010
 

Re: Why was Dion Waiters the 4th overall pick? 

Post#16 » by Kobblehead » Thu Dec 12, 2019 11:46 pm

The pick made no sense on paper, but neither did taking Russell Westbrook at #4 in 2008. Sometimes you take a gamble on guys with quirky college careers if they happened to be powerfully built athletes.

Return to NBA Draft