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I really think people are looking too deeply into Waiters' conditioning in Summer League. If he comes into preseason out of shape, I'll be worried, but Summer League? We're talking about a guy whose agent shut down his workouts early during the draft process. And, after being drafted, he had little incentive to work out hard because, obviously, why risk getting hurt before you sign your deal? Waiters had zero conditioning issues during his sophomore year in college, and from everything I've read he became a total gym rat last year. I see no reason to worry unless, as mentioned, his conditioning issues carry into preseason.
Waiters' preseason was clearly not fantastic, but I think he did showcase some elite NBA abilities. He was able to split double-teams, break coverage, and get to the rim. He also seemed to be a pretty capable passer. He's not a point guard, but he clearly has some passing skills and a capability to create shots for both himself and his teammates. His main issues were that he was out of shape and that his shot was off, both of which can be remedied. If Waiters had shot 40% instead of 30%, his preseason looks like a success, and I honestly don't see him shooting 30% long-term. He shot well enough in college and I think that, once he's in shape, his game will come together.
I really think that the main problem for Waiters is that he's a Cavaliers rookie a year after Kyrie Irving. Irving had an absolutely incredible rookie season, one of the most efficient of all time, and it's naive to think that Waiters will be able to replicate that. If he does, it would be incredible. Waiters is going to be hurt because he's following Irving, and inevitably he's not going to look as good. If Waiters has a solid but inefficient rookie season with flashes of elite potential, I think that's about the most Cavs fans can ask for. If we get more, we got an absolute gem in Waiters. If we get less, he's a work in progress. I just don't see a guy who who can get to the rim and create shots for others as a bust in the NBA.
2 years, 5 months ago on One of Us Will Inevitably Eat Crow