Cavs fans have been focusing on a group of players that includes Harrison Barnes, Bradley Beal, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Thomas Robinson as possibilities for the Cavs when they pick at No. 4 in tonight's NBA Draft.
But Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowksi's has a new contender: Syracuse guard Dion Waiters.
According to Wojnarowski:
The Cavaliers haven’t been able to get Waiters to visit Cleveland for a workout and meeting with officials, but it hasn’t extinguished management’s ever-evolving fascination with choosing Waiters at No. 4 – especially if the Cavaliers are unable to secure Florida guard Bradley Beal.
Cleveland has intensified its background checks on Waiters, and sources in direct contact with Cavs officials believe Waiters would be the franchise's choice over Kansas’ Thomas Robinson should the Charlotte Bobcats select Michael Kidd-Gilchrist at No. 2, and the Washington Wizards take Beal at No. 3.
Because Waiters, a 6-foot-5 combo guard, had a promise later in the lottery, he stopped making visits to teams highest in the lottery. Nevertheless, Cleveland still believes it has strong intelligence on Waiters, an explosive scoring guard the Cavs can pair with Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving. Cleveland still has a strong desire to move to No. 2 to get Beal, but has resisted Charlotte’s attempts to attach Tyrus Thomas to a trade. Thomas has three years and $26 million left on his contract and has become unproductive and largely uncaring as a pro.
According to his draft profile on NBA.com:
Waiters has been projected as a mid first-round pick, no small accomplishment given the fact he’s had to prove what he can do by coming off the bench for two seasons. He’s got NBA-level scoring ability and has continued to improve his defense. Though Syracuse played a zone, Waiters was a key because of his length and strength.
You have wonder how much of this is legitimate and how much is the Cavs putting up a smokescreen to try and get the Bobcats to make a deal that is more in the Cavs favor.
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