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Dion Waiters: ‘I believe I should start’

Dion WaitersThe Cleveland Cavaliers still have yet to complete a deal for Kevin Love. That’s not to say it won’t happen, but at the moment the Cavs have a somewhat crowded backcourt. There may not be enough room for both Dion Waiters and rookie sensation Andrew Wiggins.

Waiters, who recently created a stir on Twitter by answering a follower’s question about his willingness to come off the bench, told reporters at Team USA training camp on Monday that he believes he should start.

“I want to start and I believe that I should at the two (guard),” Waiters said, per Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com.

Kyrie Irving has the starting point guard duties locked down, while some guy named LeBron James will start at the 3. Waiters’ presence likely plays a huge role in the Cavs willingness to include Wiggins as part of a package for Love, but if Wiggins stays he could very well earn the starting shooting guard job.

As Haynes noted, Waiters was not saying he believes he should start to cause trouble in any way. He is simply confident he can beat out the rookie, as any third-year player should be.

“I just say how I feel,” he said. “I’m going to do whatever is best for the team, of course, but at the end of the day, I’m a man and I’m confident in myself. I’ve always been a guy that gives it right to you. I’ve never been a guy that plays that political stuff. I was brought up that way. I’m straightforward.”

Of course, there were rumors last year that Waiters was not getting along with some of his teammates and wanted to be traded, but that seems like water under the bridge now. Unless, of course, Cleveland keeps Wiggins. Then it might not be.

Dion Waiters does not want to come off the bench

Dion WaitersThe Cleveland Cavaliers have a solid core of young players, which is probably one of the main reasons LeBron James decided to rejoin them. One of those players is former Syracuse star Dion Waiters, but it would not be shocking if he was not around at the start of the 2014-2015 season.

Depending on what happens with No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins, the Cavs could wind up with a somewhat crowded back court. Kyrie Irving obviously has the point guard duties locked down, so one of Waiters or Wiggins will likely come off the bench. Waiters doesn’t sound willing to accept that role, as evidenced by this tweet that was captured by Hoops Fix before it was deleted.

Dion-Waiters-tweet

Waiters later implied that he was just messing around.

The tweet wouldn’t be as interesting if not for a report last year that Waiters was not getting along with some of his teammates and was open to being traded. There has supposedly been friction between Waiters and Irving over what Waiters perceives as Irving playing buddy ball with Tristan Thompson, and you have to wonder if adding Wiggins and LeBron to the mix will mean even fewer touches for Waiters. That might not sit well with him.

H/T SI Hot Clicks

Kyrie Irving to Josh Gordon: Stay in your own sport and mind your business

Kyrie IrvingRumors have been circulating that Kyrie Irving wants out of Cleveland. The former Duke star has firmly denied them, but they’re out there. According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, there are several people within the Cavaliers organization that Irving does not get along with. One of them is teammate Dion Waiters.

“The truth is [Kyrie’s] camp has been putting out there for years – years – that he doesn’t want to be in Cleveland,” Windhorst told Cavs: The Blog last week. “That they don’t want him in Cleveland. He doesn’t like Mike Brown. He didn’t like Chris Grant. He doesn’t like Dion Waiters. He’s already gotten a General Manager fired. He might get Mike Brown fired.”

Enter Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon, who is friends with Waiters. During an appearance on ESPN’s “First Take” last week, Gordon shared his thoughts on the Irving situation.

“I talked about it with Dion,” Gordon said, via Cleveland.com’s Tom Reed. “He’s my neighbor in my building so we hang out all the time. I’m aware of the rift in the locker room. That’s just alpha males and supreme athletes trying to share the spotlight. Dion has some exposure right now depending on how Dan Gilbert wants to play free agency or trades. Hopefully they get along.”

Gordon added that it “might play out better” if Waiters and Irving were not teammates next season. The Akron Beacon Journal’s Jason Lloyd later asked Irving what he thought about Gordon’s insight.

“Guys like Josh Gordon need to stay in his sport and mind his own business,” Irving said. “Does he still play for the Browns? I’ll continue to root for the Browns, but in terms of this stuff here, what goes on in this locker room, he needs to stay out of it.”

Irving also said he has no problems with Waiters personally but that anyone can see their playing styles don’t mesh well on the court. Gordon fired back on Twitter over the weekend.

Waiters tried to distance himself from all of the reports:

If the Cavs really aren’t getting along, I’m sure another Cleveland superstar speaking about it publicly makes things more awkward. In this instance, I’m with Irving — Gordon is probably better off minding his own business.

H/T Eye on Football

Dion Waiters reportedly called out Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson, wants trade

Dion WaitersThe Cleveland Cavaliers are shopping last year’s No. 4 overall pick Dion Waiters at the player’s suggestion, because he is not getting along with some of his teammates and seemingly wants a new team, according to a report.

ESPN’s Chris Broussard says the Cavs are actively shopping Waiters and have contacted multiple teams about potential trades. Waiters supposedly has a “contentious” relationship with several teammates and even suggested in a meeting with his coach and GM last week that they trade him.

According to Broussard, Waiters called out Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson during a players-only meeting recently. The meeting was called by Irving, a former Rookie of the Year, whom Waiters accused of playing buddy ball with Thompson and not passing to Waiters.

There seems to be friction between Waiters and Irving. Waiters reportedly views Irving as someone who’s been allowed to get away with things like loafing defensively, turnovers, and taking bad shots that other players could not get away with.

Waiters averaged 14.7 points, 2.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game as a rookie last year. He’s only shooting 38.9 percent this season and is averaging 13 points in 27.7 minutes per game. If the team allows Irving more leeway, it’s because he is closer to being a star player than Waiters. The only thing is the Cavs would be wise to treat Irving with more discipline; it would be better for the player long term.

Scoop Jardine Makes Syracuse Point Shaving Rumors Worse by Responding

Syracuse was 18-0 and a top-five team in college basketball, but the Orangemen have lost four in a row since starting the year strongly. They were wiped out at home last week 90-68 by Seton Hall, leaving many fans with questions. Apparently those questions have resulted in rumors, such as one posted on a gambling site saying Cuse players Scoop Jardine, Dion Waiters, and James Southerland have been shaving points.

Jardine hasn’t played his best in the four losses and was particularly awful against Villanova, but that in no way implies he was shaving points. Waiters and Southerland are both reserves and neither played in the loss to Marquette, but both have seen plenty of minutes in each of the team’s conference games. The DNPs were Waiters’ first of the year and fourth for Southerland, and the DNP seemed to be punishment for Waiters. Clearly Waiters’ status with coach Jim Boeheim is in question, but that is most likely due to his attitude.

Two speculative reports came out Tuesday suggesting the players were shaving points and that led to fans questioning the players on twitter. Rather than ignoring the bombardment, Scoop Jardine made what KC radio host Nick Wright described as an awful move. Here’s what Scoop wrote on twitter, as Wright alerted me:

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