Dion Waiters, the former Oklahoma City Thunder guard, has agreed to a two-year deal worth $6 million with a player option in second year of the contract, per several league sources.
Waiters, who entered the offseason as a restricted free agent, became an unrestricted free agent after the Thunder rescinded their qualifying offer in the aftermath of Kevin Durant’s exit.
According to ESPN, Waiters is expected to assume a starting role with the Heat, especially after Dwayne Wade left for Chicago Bulls in free agency.
Dion Waiters to start at SG?
The Heat matched Brooklyn Nets’ $50 million offer sheet for Tyler Johnson and also have promising sophomores Josh Richardson and Justise Winslow in their rotation. However, Waiters is a seasoned pro and will most likely start alongside Goran Dragic in the backcourt.
Waiters, a former No. 4 pick in the draft, hasn’t lived up to potential after his first two seasons in Cleveland. Waiters averaged 14.7 points as a rookie and nearly 16 points per game as a sophomore and was expected to turn into an elite shooting guard in the league.
However, things began to go downhill for Waiters after Cleveland traded him to Oklahoma City during the 2014-15 season. During his time in Oklahoma City, Waiters started only 35 out of a total of 125 games, often becoming an afterthought in Thunder’s offense.
Most pundits have criticized Waiters for his inefficient shooting. He has shot less than 40 per cent for two consecutive seasons. However, Waiters showed promising signs during Thunder’s playoff run earlier this year.
ESPN noted that Waiters “played particularly well against Dallas and San Antonio in the playoffs, helping the Thunder advance to the Western Conference finals against Golden State.”
Dion Waiters averages 12.8 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists through the first four seasons of his career. The former Syracuse standout has the opportunity to start anew in Miami.