Despite pretty strong play over the past month since returning from an early-November illness — around 16 points, three rebounds and three assists per game on 45.5 percent shooting, a 39.5 percent mark from 3-point range and 4.4 free-throw attempts in 28.5 minutes of nightly burn — sophomore Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard Dion Waiters continues to hear his name floated in trade talks. The most recent round of chatter, shared by Bleacher Report's Jared Zwerling, connected the No. 4 overall pick in the 2012 draft with the Chicago Bulls and Philadelphia 76ers, with Zwerling's anonymous sources suggesting the latter would be the Syracuse product's preferred choice because A) he's from Philly and B) "he thinks he'd be the best player on the team."
Irrespective of whether Waiters would or would not be the best player on a 7-19 76ers team, or how much veracity there is to the report that he wants out of Ohio (remember, trade rumor season's a difficult-to-navigate beast), the report made its way from the bleachers to the readers and to the Cavaliers' locker room, where Waiters made a point to address it before Tuesday's tough last-second loss to the Portland Trail Blazers (in which, by the way, Waiters played pretty great, scoring 25 points on 19 shots and adding five assists against just one turnover).
From The Associated Press:
Speaking before Cleveland's game against Portland, Waiters said he's happy and comfortable and was surprised by an Internet report that he had requested a trade.
"Why would I do that?" Waiters said. "It doesn't make sense. This is the team that drafted me. People come up with their own things, man. I know what I said and what I didn't say. That's one of the things I absolutely never said."
We'll take Waiters at his word for the moment — after all, he's been playing well in Cleveland since last month's unpleasantness, and the Cavs have, too, winning five of six before dropping a pair against the Blazers and the two-time defending champion Miami Heat. But his turn of phrase — "one of the things I absolutely never said" — left us feeling curious. What might some of the other ones be? Here's 10 pretty likely guesses; feel free to share yours in the comments below.
1. "You know what? I probably shouldn't take this shot. Here, [INSERT ANY TEAMMATE EVER'S NAME]. You go for it."
2. "I appreciate the offer, ma'am, but I couldn't possibly impose upon your taco dinner."
3. "Yeah, I did hit catch Kyrie with the left hook. And what?"
4. "Oh, cool! Popcorn!"
5. "Most of the time, I just don't feel very confident in my abilities, I guess."
6. "Great Photoshop, man. I really dig self-referential homonyms."
7. "I have never joined forces with a Maybach Music Group signee to help people figure out how to achieve their dreams."
8. "'Olympus is Fallen' is not one of my favorite movies."
9. "If I had to say which of my teammates was the best rollerskater, I'd probably say Kyrie rather than myself, and then definitely wouldn't get into any type of locker-room altercation about it."
10. "'Law and Order: Special Victims Unit' is not one of the greatest television programs of all time."
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