It has emerged that Dion Waiters could well have known about LeBron James' decision to return to Ohio before the Miami Heat or Cleveland Cavaliers did.
According to an interview with Waiters in Slam Magazine, LeBron and the shooting guard have talked and even talked "four or five days" before he made his decision. James called Waiters and told him to "be ready" even though he said he hadn't made up his mind just quite yet.
He just wanted Waiters to be ready and already working hard, just in case he decided to go back home. From SLAM:
“We've talked,” Waiters said of his new teammate. “I actually talked with LeBron before he made his decision. He called me and just told me to be ready. Be ready. I talked to him four or five days before he made his decision. He just got on the phone and said I haven't made my mind up yet but be ready.
I told him that I'm already working hard. I'll be ready. And he said, I know, I know you are. Then a few days later I read the letter. I was just really excited for the city of Cleveland. I think the city, more than anybody, deserves this. They deserve to have LeBron coming back. I think the excitement is really back in Cleveland and I'm looking forward to being a part of that.”
Waiters has already stated this off-season that he knows he needs to change his game and style of play from what he has been since entering the league. The shooting guard mentioned that he had been watching some Dwyane Wade gametape to see the way that his fellow 2-guard adjusted his game with James.
With Waiters being a completely ball oriented player, learning to play off the ball, learning when and where to move without the ball, and becoming a better spot-up shooter from outside will help a lot as he gets used to life with LBJ on the court.
In his second season in the NBA, Waiters averaged 15.9 points, 3.0 assists, and 2.8 rebounds in 29.6 minutes. He's an effective scorer but not always the most efficient team player. Waiters and Kyrie Irving famously don't get on too well which is maybe why it is a surprise he hasn't been linked with more trade talks.
Waiters was much improved scoring the ball from his rookie season by raising his shooting to 43.3 percent and his 3-point percentage from 31.0 to 36.8 percent in the space of a year.
A lot for Dion will depend on if the Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Love trade goes through. If Wiggins stays then he has a fight for minutes, if Love is in the building then Waiters will have the 2-guard spot pretty much sewn up for the next few years in Cleveland, Ohio.