Dion Waiters, Miami Heat
Dion Waiters has always thought of himself like a superstar. But last season with the Miami Heat he showed that potential on the court.
Waiters is an unrestricted free agent after finishing his one-year, $3-million contract with the Heat. He is looking to get paid. But it is still to be seen whether the rest of the NBA is as high on him as he is on himself. He certainly did all he could in his lone year with the Heat.
Waiters takes tough shots and makes tough shots. He stepped up for a Miami team that was decimated by injuries and averaged 15.8 points and shot 39.5 percent from 3-point range.
Those numbers are not off his career marks, but the difference is he added other facets to his game.
Waiters averaged career highs with 4.3 assists per game and 3.3 rebounds per game last season. More impressive was his defensive field goal percentage of 40.4 percent. His game is growing. With the Magic, he could have an opportunity for an even more expanded role.
Dion Waiters would give the Magic a go-to scorer and creator. He would be a star in Orlando. He is that ‘alpha-male’ that wants to ball in pressure situations. He is an option when all else fails.
Waiters had a 52.9 percent effective field goal percentage in the last two minutes of close games. He is not scared of any player or any situation. He has a mentality like no one else on the Magic roster.
His confidence borders on delusional. That may not seem like a good thing, but at times last season the Magic seemed too laid back. Waiters is a take-charge guy who is not afraid to speak his mind. The Magic need that.
And Waiters proved last year he can fit into an ensemble team with Playoff aspirations.
Waiters will try to maximize his dollars, but the Heat may not be willing to do that. They are always trying to woo high-profile free-agents, so it is unknown how committed they are to Dion Waiters. Next year’s free agent crop is an even better groupthan this season, so the Heat will probably want to keep some flexibility.
Waiters has been looking for a chance to be the guy for years. The Orlando Magic could be the team to give him that chance by committing to him long-term.