Dion Waiters, Tyler Zeller named to NBA All-Rookie teams

Jonathan Daniel

The Cleveland Cavaliers didn't have a great season, but there were some silver linings. For one, their rookies played pretty well. And on Tuesday, they got some recognition for that.

The NBA announced the All-Rookie teams on Tuesday afternoon. It should come as no surprise that Dion Waiters was easily voted to the First Team All-Rookie by NBA coaches. Despite his up and down rookie campaign, it was clear that Waiters was one of the most talented players in his class and had plenty of positive moments to outshine the negative ones.

Waiters was the fourth leading vote getting in All-Rookie voting and joined Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, Anthony Davis, and Harrison Barnes on the First Team All-Rookie. Dion finished the season with 14.7 points and 3.0 assists in just 28.8 minutes per game. He shot just 41.2% from the floor, but got consistently more efficient as the year went on. Before the All Star break, he shot just 39.6% from the floor. After the break, he posted a very solid 45.8% shooting.

Voting for First Team:

PLAYER TEAM FIRST (2PTS) SECOND (1PT) TOTAL
Damian Lillard Portland 29 -- 58
Bradley Beal Washington 28 1 57
Anthony Davis New Orleans 28 1 57
Dion Waiters Cleveland 21 8 50
Harrison Barnes Golden State 18 11 47

Tyler Zeller was also honored on Tuesday afternoon. The Cavaliers' rookie center was voted to the Second Team All-Rookie, along with Andre Drummond, Jonas Valanciunas, Kyle Singler, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Zeller struggled mightily at times, but also made consistent improvements throughout the year. He was drafted to be a backup center to Anderson Varejao and play just 15 or so minutes a game. But when Andy went down with injury, Zeller had to step up. He started in 55 games and played 26.4 minutes per game. In those minutes he averaged 7.9 points and 5.7 rebounds. Those aren't sexy numbers, but he was really thrown into the fire and had to attempt to hold his own against starting NBA centers. His effort and energy were fairly constant and it's nice to see him get some recognition for his hard work.

Voting for Second Team:

PLAYER TEAM FIRST (2PTS) SECOND (1PT) TOTAL
Andre Drummond Detroit 10 15 35
Jonas Valanciunas Toronto 6 19 31
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Charlotte 3 23 29
Kyle Singler Detroit 1 15 17
Tyler Zeller Cleveland 3 9 15

The Cavaliers have now had their past 4 draft picks all named to All-Rookie teams. Kyrie Irving obviously made 1st Team last year while Tristan Thompson made 2nd Team. If the All-Rookie teams are any indication of things to come, the future is very bright for the Cavaliers.

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