Dion Waiters RumorsAll NBA Players
Height: 6-4 / 1.93
Weight:214 lbs. / 97.5 kg.
Height: 6-4 / 1.93
Weight:214 lbs. / 97.5 kg.
Anthony Slater: Dion Waiters offseason goal: “Eating right.” Said the biggest reason he played better late this season is cause he got in shape.
They traded future first-round picks for Dion Waiters and Enes Kanter in separate deals, and though those players are young and the picks protected, those are the sort of win-now moves the Thunder hadn’t engaged in until this season. They are the mark of a team that knows time is precious — that failure today carries a scary downside that is no longer so far in the distance. And as rival executives note, those moves — especially the acquisition of a low-post scorer like Kanter who has a nice pick-and-pop chemistry with Westbrook — provide the road map for a post-Durant team in the worst-case scenario of his departure.
When the Thunder acquired Waiters, his locker was initially placed next to Jackson’s, alongside Lamb and Jones. He spent two games in that location before Durant and Westbrook requested he be moved across to the other side, next to them. The official reason was said to be for integration purposes, to help Waiters get to know the team’s leaders and learn from them. But it’s hard not to see it as an attempt to move him away from one clique and into another.
He has had no communication with LeBron James. The All-Star has not called nor sent a text. Northeast Ohio Media Group asked Waiters if he would have preferred if James gave him a ring. “Man, he had his chance to reach out,” Waiters told NEOMG. “I’m not losing any sleep.”
Ethan J. Skolnick: Dion Waiters says Scott Brooks wants him to be aggressive, so he feels comfortable.
Trying out a new nickname: Dion “Let Me Take A Couple Dribbles To Take This Long Contested 2 Real Quick”. I think Waiters is a pretty decent player and has potential to be a high quality contributor. But this contested long 2 business is something else. That earlier shot I mentioned, he literally took a dribble to put a single foot over the 3-point line to chuck a 21-footer. His strength is off the dribble, which means he’s going to have more contested shots than if he was catching and shooting set up by someone. I get that. But some of these shots are pretty bad.
Waiters airballed two layups in the first half. The best one came after a nifty spin where he got out of control and tried to flip a shot up with his left hand, making sure to yell “annnnnddddd onnnnne!” as he did it.
“It doesn’t matter what you heard [in the media],” Perkins told Basketball Insiders on Waiters’ perceived reputation. “I’ve been impressed with his ability on the defensive end. The way he gets physical on the defensive end. The way he locks in. I have been more impressed with that. We already know he can score the ball. But I have been impressed with the commitment he’s shown on the defensive end.”
“Listen,” he said, “they give me the ball. Like, I touch the ball. Like, I actually, like, you know, touch the ball.” It was the second time in less than a week that Waiters trumpeted the freedom the Thunder has given him. “I’m able to feel the game out, knowing when to take the shot, when not to,” Waiters said. “Like I said, we got a great group of guys on this team who’s very unselfish and they want you to be successful. So I think I came into a great situation.”
“This is my third year, and I’ve had four coaches in three years,” he said. “So I’ve never really had a consistent coach, or a consistent system. So every year has been different for me…when I came here, I felt right at home.”
“It’s totally different, the environment,” Waiters said. “Everything is great. The players have been welcoming from day one, and Russ and KD have been the best for me, especially. They’re the first guys in the gym every day, two hours before practice. And my first week there, I tried to beat them every day. I think it’s good for me, especially from a work ethic point of view. I think it’s great. I never really had that. I always worked hard, but it’s about working hard every day, doing the same thing. That’s what it’s about. And me seeing that with those guys, I couldn’t believe that.”
Publicly, team officials are downplaying the awkwardness of the Waiters trade and what the move might mean for Jackson’s future in OKC. They tout Waiters’ addition as added flexibility and firepower, a fourth offensive force that can create with the ball in his hands. But why pay Jackson, a restricted free agent this summer, upwards of $12 million annually to do something three others on this team can do? It would be illogical, and it’s the leading reason why few think Jackson is long for Oklahoma City.
The New York Knicks, by signing Louis Amundson to a 10-day contract Saturday, have just expanded the NBA’s all-time 10-team club to an even dozen. Amundson was promptly waived by the Knicks earlier this week after they acquired him from Cleveland as part of the three-team swap with Memphis and Oklahoma City headlined by J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and Dion Waiters. But by resigning him, New York has given Amundson the opportunity to join the following exclusive list Below are the only 12 players in league history to have played for at least 10 different teams: 12 teams: Chucky Brown, Jim Jackson, Tony Massenburg and Joe Smith. 11 teams: Mike James and Kevin Ollie. 10 teams: Lou Amundson, Earl Boykins, Mark Bryant, Drew Gooden, Damon Jones and Aaron Williams.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Welcome to OKC! Today was team photo day for Dion Waiters. http://instagram.com/p/xm_VWMCqJS/
“We never really played together,” Waiters said. “Of course, I played with ‘Ky,’ but we never played with ‘Kev’ or LeBron and those types of guys who dominated on the opposing team. For them to come to Cleveland, we all had to change our games for the betterment of the team. “For instance, my scoring went down [along with] ‘Ky.’ We’re used to having the ball, and with LeBron he needs the ball to facilitate, make plays and things like that. It was a chemistry thing that was still building.”
Waiters reportedly clashed with Irving and wasn’t happy about primarily not starting. He averaged career-lows of 10.5 points, 2.2 assists, 25.6 percent 3-point shooting and 23.8 minutes for Cleveland while coming off the bench in 30 of 33 games this season. Waiters also said he was “held back” from showing his game. “I knew something was going to happen with everything that was going on with the way we were playing,” Waiters said. “I just knew. I just sensed it.”
Until James strolled into Cleveland’s locker room Wednesday night, the Cavaliers lived much of this without him. He said he hadn’t talked to Waiters since the trade Monday night and “I haven’t reached out to anybody.” We don’t know whom he calls or texts, but James’ interactions with his Cavs teammates may have been limited to a shoutout on Instagram last Friday – Day 2 of his rehab program – and some tweets on Wednesday asking fans to vote for Love and Irving for next month’s All-Star Game in New York.
There was such high expectations with Cleveland entering the season. What went wrong? Dion Waiters: Uhh, we never really played together. Of course I’d played with Kyrie (Irving), but I’d never played with Kevin (Love) or LeBron (James) or those type of guys who dominated on their opposing teams. So for them to come to Cleveland, we all had to change our game for the better of the team. Like, for instance, my scoring went down. Ky, he’s used to having the ball, but with LeBron, he’s a guy that needs the ball to facilitate and make plays. It was a chemistry thing that we was still building. Like they said, Rome wasn’t built in one day. We had to continue to figure it out day by day.
“I’m just happy they sent me here to another great organization where I get the chance to play with another great player,” Waiters said. “I feel I’m in a win-win situation. So I take it as a positive thing. I get a chance to grow and learn from these guys.”
But just as he was preparing to go out, Raja Bell, Cleveland’s director of player administration, tapped Waiters on the shoulder. He wouldn’t be starting. He wouldn’t be playing. He’d just been traded. “Yeah, they said my name,” Waiters recalled. “I was literally about to walk out. And he comes up to me and said, ‘Listen, you’re about to be traded son.’ I said, ‘Huh? To where?’ It just happened so fast. He didn’t even know what was going on. I’m like ‘I can’t play? At least let me play.’” Waiters said in the moment he was “bitter. Just a little bitter.”
Ethan J. Skolnick: David Griffin: “If we could have done this in training camp, we would have done the same thing.” Felt he needed more grit & toughness.
Ethan J. Skolnick: David Griffin on the 2 trades: “I look at this as one trade in aggregate.” Feels he addressed three needs.
“It was cool (playing with James),” Waiters said. “I learned a lot from him in a short period of time, just how to be a professional, a better professional, a guy who comes to work every day and is almost the first guy in the gym… I learned a lot, (and) those are things that I’ll take with me.”
Dave McMenamin: LeBron on Dion Waiters: “I’m happy he’s in the West.” Meant as a sign of respect, meaning Dion will have revenge on his mind vs CLE.
“I was excited (when he heard of the trade),” Waiters said. “I get to come to an organization that has been to the Finals, with young talented guys. And there are big expectations here also. I would love to be a part of something like that. This is a business, at the end of the day…(The Cavaliers) wanted to go in a different direction. I’m just happy they sent me here, to another great organization where I get a chance to play with another great player as far as Russ, Kev, and the other guys. I think I’m in a win-win situation. I take it as a positive thing.”
Sam Amick: When asked if Waiters’ reserve role was fluid going forward, Brooks said, “I mean I don’t know. We just got him.” Andre Roberson starting.
“We’re excited to have him,” Brooks said. “He brings a toughness. He brings a scorer. He brings a competitor…It’s going to take some time integrate him with our system. It’s going to take some time to integrate him with the group, and even with me. There’s going to be an adjustment period. We’re not going judge him by one shootaround. We’re not going to judge him by one game. We have plenty of time to continue to build his habits to make him a better player, day by day. We’ve always had that approach.”
“We never really played together,” Waiters said when asked why it wasn’t working as well as they’d hoped to this point. “I mean of course I played with Ky (Irving), but we’d never played with Kev or LeBron or those types of guys who dominated on their opposing team. For them to come to Cleveland, we all had to change our game for the better of the team. For instance, my scoring went down. Ky (and Waiters), we’re used to having the ball, and with LeBron he’s a guy who needs the ball to facilitate, make plays and things like that. It was a chemistry that we were still building. Like they say, Rome wasn’t built in one day, so we just had to continue to figure it out game by game.”