Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 10/1/12
Five questions about the Cavaliers as they begin training camp Tuesday: 1. How will Dion Waiters fit? Waiters was drafted (No. 4 overall) with the idea that he'll start at shooting guard right away and help replace the loss of Antawn Jamison's 17.2 points per game. Can Waiters do it? That remains to be seen, and we won't really know until a week or two after camp. But say this much the kid isn't lacking confidence. Nor is he above being humble, as Waiters openly admitted on media day he learned from his lack of conditioning at summer league. Either way, a quick contribution is vital. With his ability to get to the basket, seemingly at will, it shouldn't be too much of an issue. But playing alongside Kyrie Irving, Waiters will get plenty of open looks from the perimeter. He needs to knock 'em down. 2. Is Tristan Thompson an everyday starting power forward? Thompson called himself part of the weight-gain club this summer, and it shows. He's put on 10-15 pounds, all by design. He also had conversations with Irving at the end of last season about defensive rebounding, and basically, turning into a double-double machine. Thompson and his co-harts aren't worried about his scoring (no Cavs player has put in more work this off-season) or shot-blocking (it's in his blood), so staying focused on crashing the boards is his top priority. If he does that, and he's certainly capable, then yes, Thompson will be the long-term solution at the two. 3. Who starts at small forward? Last year, Alonzo Gee held the role at the end and did so admirably. But the spot isn't quite guaranteed this year, not with the addition of free-agent pickup C.J. Miles. Like Gee, Miles possesses the type of athleticism that makes him a natural for the swing spot. Miles also has more experience (seven years in the league to Gee's two-and-a-third). Ideally, the Cavs would like to bring Gee off the bench. But he has the edge in this situation -- particularly defensively. Still, Miles is talented and driven enough to at least offer some debate, and when it comes to the Cavs and their history at the position, that can only be considered a good thing. 4. Who will emerge out of nowhere to contribute? With as young as the Cavs are, this is a great season to find a guy who wasn't expected to do much coming into the season. Goodness knows, the opportunity will be there and so should the minutes. Potential candidates include everyone from power forward Samardo Samuels to big man Jon Leuer to shooting guard Kelenna Azubuike. Samuels is entering his third season and looks like a new (and much more in shape) individual. He's had his moments in the past. Meanwhile, Leuer was obtained off waivers from Milwaukee after one year and a reputation as a long forward (6-foot-10) who can sink perimeter shots. And finally, Azubuike was just coming into his own as an outside shooting threat before being derailed by two knee surgeries since 2009. He said he's now 100 percent, and if so, he may have the best shot of the aforementioned bunch to be the Cavs' surprise find. 5. Are the Cavs playoff-bound? Well, maybe. The starting lineup is likely to feature a second-year point guard (Irving) and power forward (Thompson), a first-year shooting guard (Waiters), and third-year small forward (Alonzo Gee) and a 30-year old wild man of a center (Anderson Varejao). Top players off the bench are expected to be Miles (who's 25), center Tyler Zeller (another rookie), guard Daniel Gibson (still only 26) and potentially Samuels (23), Leuer (23) and small forward Omri Casspi (24). If all goes well, coach Byron Scott and the gang will be competing for the No. 8 spot (or better, if all goes really, really well). One thing the Cavs don't want to do is use their youth as an excuse. Instead, the goal is to be more like Oklahoma City was a few seasons back -- playing a passionate brand of basketball that makes them seem like a college team. A big key is to keep moving forward and not end up with another top-five draft pick. No one goes from last in the division to the Eastern Conference finals with a snap of the fingers. You have to move up slowly. That is the goal here: To make the type of move up that shows some real promise for the future.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Is Anthony Davis really the best big man from UK in the NBA?
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Eric Decker out Sunday with partial tear in rotator cuff

Report: Browns planning to part ways with Josh Gordon

Noah skips dinner at West Point because he's anti-war

Giants could use wide receiver at safety against Vikings

Ryan Tannehill does not mince words regarding offense

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jerry Jones: Bryant might play Sunday if he can handle pain

Russell Wilson on playing Sunday against Jets: ‘No doubt’

Report: Tyson Fury failed drug test, will be stripped of title belts

Report: Bill O’Brien taking over play-calling duties for Texans

Kevin Garnett offered coaching position with the Cavaliers

Dwight Gooden on Tim Tebow: I would’ve eaten him alive

Players Jurgen Klinsmann may call up for USMNT friendlies

Combing through the crowded 2016 MLB MVP races

The Blue Jays and the meaning of a late season freefall

CFB Crash Course: Week 5 - Less one Les

Box Score: 9/30 - Dolphins, Popovich and MLB umps

Byron Scott has no relationship with D’Angelo Russell

Steve Kerr favors shorter NBA preseason to limit back-to-backs

Flaws of MLB replay system exposed in Cardinals’ victory

Ten unheralded players set to shine in NFL Week 4

NBA winners and losers: Gregg Popovich as a voice of reason

WATCH: Will LSU have to sell its soul to find its next head coach?

The clubhouse leaders for MLB Rookies of the Year

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Combing through the crowded 2016 MLB MVP races

The Blue Jays and the meaning of a late season freefall

CFB Crash Course: Week 5 - Less one Les

NBA winners and losers: Gregg Popovich as a voice of reason

WATCH: Will LSU have to sell its soul to find its next head coach?

The clubhouse leaders for MLB Rookies of the Year

Goodbye, Ted: 20 years of highs and lows at Turner Field

Forza Horizon 3 review: Going Top Gear

NFL Kickoff Week 4: Guess what? The NFL is dying again

WNBA semifinals preview: Will the rust show for Lynx, Sparks?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker