Twitter mailbag: Should the Cavs bring Dion Waiters off the bench?

By Jason Lloyd
Beacon Journal sports writer

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Dion Waiters has done well but might we see him moved to the bench to provide that playmaker spark that the second unit needs? @DarkKnight_22

It’s highly doubtful. I know since Dion Waiters came off the bench at Syracuse some people believe he’d be great in that sixth-man role, but the Cavs drafted him to be a starter who plays 35 minutes a night. He has shown little to indicate he’s incapable of doing it. Byron Scott really doesn’t want to tinker with the starters because they’ve played pretty well together, at least offensively. With Tyler Zeller back, the Cavs really need either Omri Casspi or C.J. Miles to emerge. The Cavs could get by, at least for now, with a bench of Daniel Gibson, Zeller, a few minutes with Donald Sloan and a productive Casspi or Miles.

Does Byron really need to change the starting lineup? Or does he need to sub starters differently (with) better minute distribution? @Nviro15

As covered in the previous question, I don’t see the starting lineup changing anytime soon. But Scott is trying to keep at least a couple of starters together at all times. When there are five reserves on the court, things go very, very badly very, very quickly. Leads vanish instantly and deficits swell. Scott has gotten away from mass substitutions since the start of the road trip. I thought C.J. Miles was pretty succinct last week when he said the second unit doesn’t have two dynamic playmakers like Kyrie Irving and Waiters, so they have to run more of the half-court sets, get even stingier defensively and make fewer mistakes than the starters. None of that is happening yet.

What’s the chance Cavs trade Andy? His value has skyrocketed as of late. Is it worth getting some future assets? @Sir27

If Varejao is healthy, continues All-Star season yet we’re not in playoff hunt at trade deadline, do we trade him? @kjr44035

What would the Cavs have to receive in order to trade Andy? Draft picks, players? @AustenB5

Anderson Varejao’s trade value is probably as high as it has ever been despite his injuries the last two seasons. He still has another two seasons on his team-friendly contract, but the total value is only about $19 million and the final season is a team option. At 30, he’s putting up the best numbers of his career and he seems to be improving — not regressing — with age.

So why on earth would the Cavs trade him now? Because he still hasn’t made it to a trade deadline healthy in a couple of years, he’ll be well past his prime by the time the Cavs are legitimate contenders in the Eastern Conference (which is far, far different from a team fighting for the eighth seed) and because his trade value has never been higher? What could the Cavs expect in return? At one point, the Cavs wanted a young big with high upside and a first-round pick or an unprotected lottery pick in return. The unprotected pick is unlikely because a team in the lottery shouldn’t have much interest in Varejao. The Cavs would be seeking someone like Utah’s Derrick Favors, a young big with great upside who is still under team control for a couple more years. But the Jazz already have a glut of big men, which is why trades can be complicated.

Ultimately, I think Varejao is traded this season if he makes it to the trade deadline healthy.


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