The Cavaliers went 1-2 with Waiters in the starting lineup as he averaged 8.3 points on 33.3 percent shooting. They are 1-1 with him coming off the bench, and he had his best game of the season on Friday against the Nuggets, scoring 17 points.
James said the team needs Waiters to anchor the bench unit.
"For the best of the team, that should be Dion's role," James said. "Dion comes off the bench and brings us that scoring mentality but more than that, he brings us another defender off the bench, which we need. Someone that's tough, someone that can guard one through three. It's a new role, but it's a good role for him."
Waiters made headlines over the summer for saying he did not want to come off the bench, but has changed his tune recently.
"I got to do whatever I got to do for the better of the team," Waiters said. "If it's starting, if it's coming off the bench, if it's the water boy, I got to do it. Whatever is best for the team."
The No. 4 pick in the 2012 draft, Waiters split time as a starter and bench player during his first two seasons with the Cavaliers. He averaged 15.9 points last season and is scoring 9.4 points per game in five games this season.
The Cavaliers are 2-3 on the season and host the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday at 7 p.m. ET.
- Paul Palladino