At some point, the Philadelphia 76ers are going to have to bring in some players to help them reach the league-mandated salary floor or just under $56.8 million dollars. Though I am sure GM Sam Hinkie would be happy as a clam to field a roster consisting of players on their rookie deals and 10-day contracts, the NBA requires teams to spend at least 90% of that year’s salary cap when fielding a team.
Ideally, Philadelphia would like to add pieces that may have a chance at helping them down the road. One name that the team has been linked to in the past is apparently resurfacing in trade discussions with the darling of the NBA offseason: Cleveland Cavaliers.
Philadelphia native Dion Waiters has had a difficult time rooting himself in Cleveland since the Cavaliers drafted him 4th overall in the 2012 draft. Trade rumors began swirling early last season, as the shooting guard’s development and rumored rift with franchise point guard Kyrie Irving did not fit into the organization’s long-term plans.
Despite the distractions, Waiters ended up averaging a solid 15.9 ppg in his second season with the Cavaliers. Since the end of the 2013-2014 campaign, however, all Cleveland has done is added pieces that make it more difficult to envision Waiters sticking around for the long-term. The additions of Andrew Wiggins and LeBron James to go along with a cluster of other wing players clearly indicate that Cleveland does not see Waiters as a solution from a wing/guard perspective. The Syracuse product has made it clear he does not want to come off the bench, and has been involved in countless trade rumors as the Cavaliers try to further improve the NBA’s most-improved roster.
If there’s one place that may satisfy Waiters’ desires of immediate, substantial playing time to go along with a return to his homefront, Philadelphia seems like a perfect fit. Waiters, 22, is still young enough to benefit from a ‘restart’ to a career that didn’t get off on the right foot. Coaching stability and less pressure to win immediately and validate his 4th overall status could do wonders for Waiters. According to Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio, Waiters could get his wish in the coming weeks.
13. On top of all that, there are league-wide whispers of a third team perhaps getting involved in a potential Cavs-Wolves deal, whispers of the 76ers possessing a strong interest in Cavs guard Dion Waiters, whispers of another major transaction on the way. Yeah. Unreal.
Though Amico did not speculate as to what would be heading back to Cleveland in the deal, Philadelphia’s position of power in the equation would almost assure it would not be much. The Cavaliers haven’t been discreet in the fact that they are doing everything they can to bring in Kevin Love to supplement their starting-five. The necessary roster-tweeking involved in getting themselves to a point where they can take on Love AND sign him to a max contract takes a great deal of creativity. Philadelphia has been brought up quite a bit as a facilitator for some of the NBA’s potential remaining marquee moves. Though Waiters is far from a finished product, he is a local kid with high potential and appears like he could benefit from a chance of scenery. Hinkie appears willing to exhaust any and all options when it comes to putting together a roster that, in a few seasons, will be ready to contend for an NBA title. Do not be surprised if bringing in Dion Waiters is one of those options.