Report: No contract extension coming between Thunder, Dion Waiters

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Surprising: The Thunder and Dion Waiters had serious contract-extension discussions.

Not surprising: An extension isn’t happening.

David Aldridge of NBA.com:

The Thunder can make Waiters a restricted free agent next summer by extending him a $6,777,589 qualifying offer. They’ll probably do that if for no other reason than they traded a first-round pick for him. Too often, teams prioritize saving face.

Waiters is young and talented enough to become a helpful NBA player, but it’ll take major work to get there. I’ve yet to see Waiters show a desire to fix his bad habits – ball-stopping, poor shot selection, low defensive effort. Until his mindset changes, he won’t get anywhere. He’s not good enough to serve as a go-to scorer.

At least Oklahoma City will have another season to evaluate him and try to change his approach. Kevin Durant will be the priority next summer, but Waiters also fits into the equation. How much the Thunder value Waiters might depend whether or not Durant re-signs, but I doubt Waiters leaves Oklahoma City.

Even without extending his contract, all signs point to the Thunder valuing Waiters more than any other team does.