Barnes vs. Waiters

Harrison Barnes or Dion Waiters. I'll be honest, at the time, I wanted Harrison Barnes. If Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and Bradley Beal were all off the board, I wanted Harrison Barnes. I had heard the Thomas Robinson rumors and the Andre Drummond rumors, but the player I wanted was Barnes. If the front office decided against Barnes, I figured they would at least take Drummond. Drummond was a big, athletic, raw center with all the potential in the world.

But...when the fourth pick rolled around, the Cavs took Dion Waiters. I was livid. I screamed at my television. I called Chris Grant names that I don't think should ever be repeated. I still had hope though. Barnes had passed Sacramento at 5 and gotten past Portland at 6. There had been rumors of a Varejao trade to get up to Golden State's spot at 7. I was praying for this to happen. I figured the night could still be saved as long as Grant traded up to number 7 and picked Barnes. That didn't happen. He also didn't trade up to 8 or 9 to get Drummond like I was hoping.

Then later in the draft I hear about a Cavaliers trade. I hear that they traded up in the draft. At the time, the only number I saw was the 7. I was convinced the Cavs had somehow swung a trade to get up to 7 and stolen Barnes away. I didn't see that there was a 1 in front of that 7 and that the Cavs had traded up to 17 to get Tyler Zeller. I was discouraged to say the least but I had liked Zeller coming into the draft and still thought it was a good selection.

One of my biggest problems with taking Waiters at 4 was that I thought he would be available much later. What most people don't realize, including myself until recently, is that Dion was projected in at least 5 mock drafts to go to Golden State at number 7. Everyone talks about how Dion was a huge reach but in actuality, he wasn't THAT big of a reach. ESPN talked it up as if Dion was barely a lottery pick, let alone top 5. Could the Cavs have traded back and gotten Waiters? Maybe, but this team already had four selections in the draft, I don't know if an additional second rounder would have been all that appealing. So, who should the Cavs have selected at number 4, Waiters or Barnes?

Dion Waiters has been interesting, to say the least, so far this season. He has the Cavaliers fan base divided on whether he will be a bust or a star, a sixth man or the next Dwayne Wade. Let's look at his stats: 30.2 MPG, 14.4 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 3.1 APG, 0.2 BPG, 1.0 SPG with a .380 FG%, .324 3P%, .789 FT%. His advanced stats include a 46.7 True Shooting %, 15.1 Assist Ratio, 24.1 Usage Rate, 9.3 Turnover Ratio, 4.6 Rebound Rate, and a 12.31 PER. For a rookie shooting guard, there is promise in these stats. Dion has had some huge games including a 33 point game against the Kings earlier this month. In his last 10 games, he has a .422 FG% which shows improvement. Waiters has the ability to be an amazing player. He has the tools and if he stops taking bad shots, he can be a very efficient and effective player. Per 40 Minutes, Waiters is averaging 19.1 Points, 3.2 Rebounds, and 4.1 Assists. If Dion learns to drive more and take better shots (aka stops being a rookie), he could turn out to be one of the best players to be taken in this draft. But what about Barnes...

Harrison Barnes has not been put under nearly as much pressure as Waiters so far this season. Barnes has the benefit of being the 3rd or 4th option on a very talented team. When Varejao was healthy (it’s so hard to remember), Waiters could settle into that 3rd role. In Golden State, Stephen Curry is the star. Davis Lee is the number two option. The Warriors have Klay Thompson, Jarrett Jack, Carl Landry and many other players who can score points. The Cavaliers do not have this luxury thus putting more pressure on Dion. Barnes has an okay stat line across the board. He averages: 25.2 MPG, 8.9 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 1.5 APG, .2 BPG, .7 SPG with a .432 FG%, .367 3P%, and a .720 FT%. His advanced metrics include a 51.7 True Shooting %, a 13.1 Assist Ratio, a 10.8 Turnover Ratio, a 9.5 Rebound Ratio with a 16.0 Usage Rate and a 11.28 PER. Those are some solid stats for a rookie SF. He has not blown anyone away with his numbers but he has been solid on a playoff caliber team in the West which is saying something. Per 40 minutes, Barnes is averaging 14.1 Points, 6.8 Rebounds, and 2.3 Assist. Barnes is obviously a better rebounder than Waiters, and he should be since he is 4 inches taller. Dion has the advantage in Assists. Barnes has the higher FG%, Waiters has the higher FT%. Barnes shoots better from the 3 right now, Waiters averages more points per 40 minutes. Barnes has a better True Shooting %, Waiters has a higher PER and Usage Rate.

Stats can be used anyway someone wants. If you wanted to say Luke Walton is better than Lebron James, you could find a stat for that. If you wanted to argue Dwight Howard would make a better Point Guard than Rajon Rondo, there is a stat for that. Statistics are important, but they are not everything. At the number 4 spot, the Cavaliers wanted to draft a player that would be with them for the long term and eventually help the team win a championship. Chris Grant felt that Waiters would be the better long term option. Maybe Grant looked into the future (he is a wizard, you know), and saw that the 2013 draft class would be full of SF talent. Maybe he saw that there was no way he could have both players. Maybe he saw that Dion Waiters goes on to be a Hall of Famer and Harrison Barnes ends up an injured mess after his third season. For whatever reason, Grant felt that Waiters was the better selection. But do you agree with him?

Would you, as a fan, rather have Harrison Barnes than Dion Waiters? Would you rather have our possible SF of the future or SG of the future? Would you like me to stop writing this never ending fanpost about something that can't be changed? Whatever your opinions, leave them in the comments and vote on the poll. Thanks for reading guys.

This is a Fan-Created Comment on The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff at FearTheSword

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