The Cleveland Cavaliers are really relying on Dion Waiters taking a fairly big jump within the next few seasons. He ended the second half of this past year pretty well, but obviously has even more room to grow. There were questions about his conditioning when he arrived at Summer League last year, but there were never questions about his work ethic.
Waiters has the reputation of being a gym rat and a tireless worker. When you talk to him, he clearly wants to be the best player on the court every single night. Watch this video and look how awesome he looks. First of all, it's great that he's working so hard during the offseason. Obviously, all NBA players are working out during the summer -- but Dion looks like he's in tremendous shape. He's got a big body, but he looks downright sculpted in this video. Furthermore, his shot looks solid. He recently did a great interview on 92.3 in Cleveland and spoke a little bit about what he was working on during the offseason. One of the major points that he mentioned was his balance. I know it's just a workout video (and they only show the shots that he makes), but his balance looks so much better. He isn't fading away on every jumper and he appears to be gathering the ball a lot smoother than he had previously. If this keeps up and translates to Summer League, I'll do a further breakdown on his shot last year vs. what it looks like now.
Overall, it's just really really encouraging to see the work that Waiters has put in. He wants to be great and he knows that he has to work hard to be great. Of course, he needs to work on his defensive abilities but a big part of that is being in exceptional shape so that you have enough energy to play hard defense after making plays on offense. With Mike Brown coaching the defense, I'm quite confident that Dion will improve in that area. This time last year, there were a lot of questions about Dion Waiters. He's gradually answering all of those questions and looks like he's got a long, successful NBA career ahead of him.