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NBA Draft 2012 Grades: Cavaliers Earn Mediocre Marks From CBS

Draft grades are usually (read: always) based more on how analysts feel about players and how their mock drafts said the draft was supposed to go more than how talented the players are actually expected to turn out. Most people felt that the Cleveland Cavaliers would be going for Harrison Barnes or Bradley Beal in order to shore up their back court and give Kyrie Irving a partner with the fourth overall pick, and Barnes was there for the taking when the pick came up.

MORE: SB Nation's Andrew Sharp Hands Out Draft Grades For The Eastern Conference

They did indeed do just that, but went a bit off the board by snagging Syracuse's Dion Waiters instead of the expected targets. For that reason, the Cavs were somewhat panned in the world of draft grades, with CBS' Matt Moore giving out a mediocre C+ to Cleveland.

Dion Waiters (4): ... Why? I mean, it's fine, but... why? The Cavaliers are building a very good team behind Kyrie Irving and could have added Thomas Robinson or Harrison Barnes. But instead, they take Waiters, who did not start this season, who did not work out for teams, and who isn't going to bring the polish they need beside Irving.

The grade probably would have been lower had the Cavs not gotten the deal that landed them Tyler Zeller in place. Most of the criticisms of Waiters seem rather pedantic, Syracuse fans have already started saying that the 'never started' argument shouldn't take away how great a player Waiters was for the Orange:

Despite never starting a game for the Orange, Waiters was the best athlete on the floor at any given time and a critical part of a team that went to the Elite Eight and spent a large portion of the season ranked No. 1 in the nation.

Only time will tell if this pick ends up being the key for the Cavs backcourt that they needed. Until then, it's all speculation.

For more 2012 NBA Draft coverage, stay with this StoryStream. For more on the Cavs, be sure to visit Fear The Sword. And for more NBA news and analysis, check out SB Nation's NBA hub.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.