Cleveland Cavaliers: Pros and Cons of Dion Waiters as Team's Sixth Man

Greg Swartz@@CavsGregBRCleveland Cavaliers Lead WriterSeptember 29, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 09: Dion Waiters #3 of the Syracuse Orange brings the ball up court against the Cincinnati Bearcats during the semifinals of the Big East men's basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 9, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Dion Waiters is an electrifying scorer from all areas of the court.

Last season at Syracuse, he was one of the best in college basketball at splitting multiple defenders and getting to the hoop.

His outside shot was also good, and should continue to get better with an NBA training camp and his already sky-high confidence.

While his skills are certain, his place in the Cavs rotation is not at this point.

The fourth overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft, and with no clear talent above him on the depth chart, it would make sense that Waiters should start, right?

Not necessarily.

Waiters played the sixth-man role at Syracuse extremely well, and was almost always on the court at the end of game, when it mattered most anyways.

The Cavs played their best basketball last season when Ramon Sessions was still on the team, serving as a reliable sixth man who could create shots for himself and others.

Besides Kyrie Irving and Waiters, Cleveland has virtually nobody who can create offense for themselves.

By starting Irving and Waiters together, the Cavs would have a strong starting lineup when adding in Anderson Varejao, Alonzo Gee and Tristan Thompson.

The bench, however, is another story.

With Daniel Gibson, Tyler Zeller and C.J. Miles being the likely primary backups, the offense would be sure to struggle.

Adding Waiters to a bench group would ensure the Cavs would almost always have someone on the court to supply some offense.

Although Waiters is a shooting guard by trade, he has shown the ability to handle the ball and could step into the point guard role at times when needed.

As we've seen from James Harden in Oklahoma City, one can still thrive even when it's not in a starting role.

Harden was the third overall pick by the Thunder in 2009, and has only started seven of the 220 games he has played in.

With an invite to join Team USA in the 2012 Olympic Games, Harden helped the U.S. win a gold medal.  His skills are well recognized around the league, despite the fact he's rarely been a starter.

Waiters career could very well take the same path.

A sixth-man role, if he indeed finds himself in one, could also only be a temporary stop while Cleveland continues to build and add more playmakers to the team.

While there are arguments to be made for him in a starting or sixth-man role, Cleveland will need a big year from Waiters in whatever role he's in to be a competitive team this season.