Dion Waiters Thinks He Will Be the Best Shooting Guard in the NBA

Dan FavaleFeatured ColumnistSeptember 3, 2013

MILWAUKEE, WI - NOVEMBER 3: Dion Waiters #3 of the Cleveland Cavaliers dribbles up the court during the game against the Milwaukee Bucks at Bradley Center on November 3, 2012 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

Dion Waiters is coming. Consider James Harden, Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade warned.

Speaking with Hoopsworld's Alex Kennedy, Waiters wasn't shy about calling himself the NBA's next great shooting guard:

I’m coming. I just feel as though I’m next up as far as shooting guards. If you look around, you know, Kobe [Bryant] and [Dwyane] Wade and those guys, they paved the way for a player like me and they’re almost done. It’s not like that, but I’m just saying, I’m coming. I just want everybody to know that.

Without a doubt, I really believe that [I’ll eventually be the best shooting guard in the NBA]. This year, I’m going to show a lot of people who doubted me and still doubt me. I’m going to show them. And I don’t need praise and all of that. I just want to be respected. I’m coming. That’s all I have to say.

Waiters does have a point—about having something to prove, that is.

His rookie season was rife with scoring (14.7 points a night), but he struggled to remain efficient, shooting just 41.2 percent from the field overall and 31 percent from deep. Should he wish to join the ranks of elite shooting guards, let alone become the best one in the league, he must improve upon the 13.7 PER he registered last year.

Normally, it wouldn't behoove anyone to make snap judgments about a player after just one season in the Association, but Waiters is guilty as charged. One year into his career, he's already looping himself into the best-shooting-guard conversation.

Never mind that Kobe and Wade won't be around much longerHarden is only 24. Waiters will have to go through him en route to claiming the shooting-guard crown.

Others, like Golden State's Klay Thompson, don't figure to go down quietly, either. Waiters is going to have competition.

At least he had the common sense not to pit himself against the greats now. Though he clearly isn't short on confidence, he wasn't saying he was already better than Wade and Kobe. That's something.

And before we dismiss his comments as crazy talk, let's give him an opportunity to turn any existing doubt into some form of belief. No matter what he says, one year still isn't enough time to define a player's career, to predict their future.

"I’ve taken my work ethic to another level and I feel as though I still have something to prove," Waiters said. "So, watch out.”

Take note, Harden. And Thompson. And the rest of the NBA's shooting guards. Waiters appears to be coming for you.