With Dion returning tonight, now is an apt time for this link. A Mr. Ed Manly occassionally emails me, whenever he publishes a new article at his blog, laughingcavs.com. The post this weekend focused on Dion Waiters early season performance relative to several other NBA rookies-past.
Interestingly, the first 1035 possessions of Waiters’ career are vaguely reminiscent of Dwyane Wade, however the Heat rookie did shoot many less threes, with an associated higher frequency of shots at the rim. Regardless of anything that Jim Boeheim or Byron Scott have said though, Mr. Manly (or me) do not condone tying All-NBA / Finals MVP expectations on Dion. A few all-star games would be cool.
Also, the bottom of the article features a table that compiles information on 26 perimeter-playing rookies over their first 1035 possessions, from the last ten years. Dion’s PER languishes, but he is similar to Eric Gordon, Jason Richardson and Russ Westbrook. Going to another set of advanced stats, the Cavs-rook ranks 6th in usage, while staying above fifteen players for offensive rating, largely thanks to a miniscule turnover rate. Areas that hurt him include the third-lowest free throw rate and the worst offensive-rebounding percentage.
Give it a read. The article is thoroughly researched and offers a fairly comprehensive glimpse of how previous stars performed early in their careers.
(Spoiler alert: Kyrie possesses the highest PER, and the best offensive rating combined with second-highest usage. He was also 19, younger than at least three-quarters of the list. That’s a baaaad man.)