When talking about Dion Waiters, too often the focus is on what he doesn’t do well — shot selection — and the guys the Cavaliers could have drafted instead (Damian Lillard, Andre Drummond, Harrison Barnes).
What Oklahoma City sees is a guy who can fit in their rotation — if he can accept a bench role and work more off the ball (his catch-and-shoot numbers are not bad). He averaged 12.7 points a game for them last season.
And if he will come in at a fair price. That’s what the two sides are talking about now, a contract extension that would keep Waiters with the Thunder, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
Waiters, 23, has been enthusiastic about working toward a deal with the Thunder, eager to compete on a contender and comfortable with his growth in a strong atmosphere for player development.
As part of the NBA’s 2012 draft class, Waiters is eligible to extend his deal. Waiters’ agent, Rob Pelinka, and Thunder general manager Sam Presti have met and had ongoing discussions on the deal over the past several weeks, league sources said.
He’s got the Kevin Durant seal of approval.
An extension at a fair price also could also be a good financial deal for a Thunder team looking to spend big the next two summers to retain Durant and Russell Westbrook. Former Nets executive Bobby Marks noted on Twitter Waiters’ cap hold is $12.8 million, if they can bring him in for less than that number they have a little more flexibility.
Look for a few teams to come in with extensions for players that may not have lived up to expectations or blown people out of the water, but who are solid rotation players the franchises would love to lock up at a good price. Waiters is one of those guys.