The Cleveland Cavaliers are shopping Dion Waiters, according to ESPN's Chris Broussard.
Sources: Cavs shopping Dion Waiters. They've spoken w/Chi, NYK & Philly. No deal imminent. Waiters is open to being traded.— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) November 27, 2013
The 2013-14 season hasn't started how the Cavaliers planned and it's not surprising that general manager Chris Grant is looking to make a move. Waiters has a great deal of talent, but has been inconsistent throughout his first season plus in the NBA. Waiters was recently assigned to a reserve role after having his spot in the starting lineup taken by both C.J. Miles and Matthew Dellavedova. It's no secret that Waiters wants to be a starter in the NBA and it's clear that head coach Mike Brown does not believe that he has earned that role yet. If you recall, it was former head coach Byron Scott that was one of Waiters' biggest fans at the time of the 2012 NBA Draft. Brown might feel the same way and that's a good reason to see if the Cavs can get something of value for Waiters.
It's interesting to see which teams Broussard says the Cavs having been talking to. The Chicago Bulls are an obvious trade partner since Derrick Rose went down with another injury and will miss the rest of the season. I wrote about the Cavs potentially pursuing a trade for Luol Deng, so the talks regarding Waiters could be involved with that.
The New York Knicks have also had a disappointing start to their season. They already have JR Smith playing the role that Dion Waiters would play for them but it's the Knicks, so you never know. Iman Shumpert is probably a better fit next to Kyrie Irving and has the defensive mentality that Mike Brown likes.
Waiters is from Philadelphia and the Sixers have a couple of pieces that the Cavs might be interested in. Evan Turner is one, but he's in the final year of his contract and is playing way over his head, at the moment. Swapping Waiters for Turner would be the definition of Cleveland selling low and Philly selling high. I would hate that move. The Sixers also have Thaddeus Young and Spencer Hawes, but I have no idea what a trade for either one of those guys would look like.
There are some intriguing details in Broussard's report. He suggests that Waiters is unpleased with what he's being asked to do in Cleveland how he's being coached:
"Waiters, whom the Cavaliers drafted with the No. 4 pick in 2012, has a contentious relationship with several of his teammates, including star point guard Kyrie Irving, and sources say he is open to being traded. In fact, while Waiters has not demanded a trade, he brought up the subject in a three-hour meeting last week with coach Mike Brown and general manager Chris Grant, according to sources."
Broussard also included what his sources believe happened at the infamous Cavs players only meeting:
"Irving called the meeting after the game and every player spoke. When Waiters was given the floor, he criticized Thompson and Irving, accusing them of playing "buddy ball'' and often refusing to pass to him. Thompson took umbrage with Waiters' words and went back at him verbally. The two confronted each other but teammates intervened before it could escalate into a fight
However, the two guards are not close. Waiters believes the Cavaliers have a double standard when it comes to Irving, sources said. He feels that while Irving is allowed to get away with loafing defensively, making turnovers and taking bad shots, he is taken out of the game for such things."
At the very least, this tells us that the Cavs are not currently pleased with Waiters and would like to see what they can get for him. We'll keep our eye on this situation and see what happens going forward. It's fairly clear, however, that all is not well in CavalierLand. Chris Grant and Mike Brown are looking to mix some things up and try to put together a team that fits better. The Cavs are obviously a work in progress.
But hey, let's go beat the defending champs tonight!