The NBA season is still a little more than three months away, but we like what we’re hearing about the Cleveland Cavaliers backcourt combination of Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters.
Irving has been making headlines in the past week for his play as a member of USA Basketball’s Select team, which is in Las Vegas helping the U.S. Olympic team get ready for the Summer Olympics in London.
In a recent scrimmage, Irving scored 11 of his team’s 14 points, leading Team USA managing director Jerry Colangelo to say that Irving is “that far advanced in terms of his talent, it appears. He’s made a good showing here. He had a terrific rookie season in the NBA and certainly he will be one of the leading candidates going forward.”
And then there is Waiters, the Cavs top draft pick out of Syracuse.
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, an assistant coach for Team USA, thinks Irving and Waiters are going to be a dynamic pairing – sooner rather than later.
“I think they’ve got the possibility to have the best backcourt in the NBA fairly soon,” Boeheim told The Beacon Journal. “I’m sure some people may think they went out on a limb (in drafting Waiters). I don’t think they went out on a limb at all. I think he was clearly the best player (available). I’ll be shocked if he’s not.”
Irving is also looking forward to playing with Waiters.
“Once I started seeing him at camps, we both earned each other’s respect for each other’s games,” Irving said. “Having him on the team now is a special opportunity and I feel like this is the future of our program. He’s an exciting player. You guys have no idea what we have.”
Irving is joining the Cavs Summer League squad in Las Vegas so he and Waiters can begin working together. The team will play five games, staring with Sunday’s tilt against Charlotte.
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