Dion Waiters
Dion Waiters
28-Year-Old GuardG
Los Angeles Lakers
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Waiters was limited to just 44 games in 2018-19, and he has now appeared in only 120 contests across the last three years after playing 78 games back in 2015-16. Furthermore, he bristled about his dip in playing time, as he averaged 25.9 minutes per game last season compared to 30.1 and 30.6 minutes in 2016-17 and 2017-18, respectively. Bringing Jimmy Butler aboard this offseason would seem to signal the continued reduction of role for Waiters going forward. However, the Heat lost Dwyane Wade to retirement and traded Josh Richardson to Philadelphia to make room for Butler. As a result, Waiters could very well produce quality counting stats off the bench, though it's also possible he'll start alongside Butler and Goran Dragic. Coach Erik Spoelstra may decide against pairing three ball-dominant perimeter players in the starting five, but Waiters did splash in a career-high 2.5 threes per game on 37.7 percent last season. Rookie sharpshooter Tyler Herro could factor into the equation, but Waiters will likely earn more minutes and shot attempts regardless of role. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year, $503,656 contract with the Lakers in March of 2020.
Personal Bio

Dion Waiters was born in Philadelphia in 1991. He is the sun of Monique Brown and Dion Waiters Sr. During his junior and sophomore year of high school, Waiters attended South Kent School in Philadelphia, but played basketball for Life Center Academy. After two years at Syracuse University, Waiters entered the 2012 NBA Draft. Waiters is in the process of establishing the Dion Waiters Foundation, a non-profit whose focus will be to help end teen violence in Philadelphia, a subject which holds a special meaning to him after he lost his younger brother to gun violence in 2016. The shooting guard hosts an annual Back to School Giveaway in his hometown of Philadelphia where he distributes backpacks filled with school supplies and clothing and also provides free haircuts to more than 300 kids in low-income communities. During Thanksgiving, Waiters goes into underserved communities throughout Philadelphia and gives away turkeys to families. He also hosts a free youth basketball camp in Philadelphia during the offseason for boys ages 8-13. Waiters recently donated money towards the renovation of the playground at E.M. Stanton Elementary School in Philadelphia where he first started playing the game of basketball. Fans can follow the sharpshooter on Twitter @dionwaiters3.

College/International Summary

After his freshman year in high school, Waiters committed to Syracuse. The 6-foot-4 guard was a street-ball legend and found a role as a scorer off the Orange bench for two seasons. He only played 16.3 minutes as a freshman and put up 6.6 points. He had his best scoring game in the season finale against Marquette in the NCAA Tournament with 18 points on an 8-of-10 tally from the field. Waiters' role increased as a sophomore. He improved his scoring average to 12.6 points and connected on 36.3 percent of his three-point attempts. Waiters reached the 20 point-mark thrice, including 28 points in a loss to Cincinnati in the Big East Tournament. He earned Big East Sixth Man of the Year and All-Big East Tournament honors, and he was an AP Honorable Mention All-American. Waiters helped the Orange get to the Elite Eight and his best performance in the NCAA Tournament came against Kansas State in the second round, where he scored 18 points. After his sophomore season, Waiters declared for the 2012 NBA Draft despite not having started a game in college. He was chosen with the fourth overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Goes for 19 off bench
GLos Angeles Lakers
August 13, 2020
Waiters had 19 points (8-15 FG, 3-6 3PT, 0-1 FT) and five assists in Thursday's loss to the Kings.
ANALYSIS
The journeyman's 19 points were a team-high, as he reached double-figures for the fifth time in eight Orlando games. Waiters' reputation speaks for itself at this point, but if the Lakers are to make a run to the Finals, they'll need the mercurial guard to be a consistent offensive contributor off the bench.
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Past Season Summaries
2018

Waiters appeared in 44 games for the Heat, starting 28 of those contests. He'd go on to play nearly 26 minutes per appearance. Waiters hoisted up a career-high 6.6 three-pointers per game and posted his second-best three-point shooting accuracy of his career at 37.7 percent - leading the club in both categories. Waiters hit six treys in a game on three different occasions. He'd also drop at least 20 points in seven outings. His season high in points was 28, which was set on Mar. 30 at the Knicks. Waiters averaged 12.0 points per game on the year, finishing sixth on the team in scoring. He also tallied 2.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per tilt. Waiters dished out seven assists in two separate contests. He also snatched a season-high eight rebounds against Brooklyn on Mar. 2.

2017

Waiters played in 30 games, starting all of them. He played 30.6 minutes per game, averaging 14.3 points, 2.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists. He converted 39.8 percent of his field goals and 30.6 percent on three points (the second-lowest mark of his career). Waiters started the season in good shape, with 16.5 PPG in October. He set his season-high with 33 points during a 125-122 OT loss at home to the Timberwolves on Oct 30. The shooting guard scored over 20 points on six occasions and dished out 5-plus assists 12 times. Ankle issues had him sidelined indefinitely in late December, and he underwent surgery to repair it in January. The procedure ended his season for good. Waiters finished second in points in the squad, trailing Goran Dragic's 17.3 ppg. He was also third in assists behind Dragic and James Johnson. The Heat finished regular season with a 44-38 record and were knocked out in the first round in the postseason.

2016

Waiters signed with the Heat before the season as a free agent on a one-year deal. The shooting guard played 46 games, starting 43 of them. He averaged 15.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 30.1 minutes. That was the second-best scoring mark of his career. Waiters debuted for the Heat in their season opener, recording nine points, six rebounds and four assists in 33 minutes against the Orlando Magic. He missed 20 straight games between late November and early January with a thigh injury. His best performance came Jan. 23, when he posted 33 points, five rebounds and four assists in 32 minutes against the Warriors. Two nights prior, he also scored 33 points against the Bucks -- both of which were career highs. Waiters then suffered an ankle injury, forcing him to miss 13 games to end the season. The Heat did not qualify for the playoffs after finishing with a 41-41 record.

2015

Waiters played 78 games (15 starts) for the Thunder and averaged 9.8 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 27.6 minutes per contest, shooting 35.8 percent from three-point range. Waiters logged 10 of his starts in January in the wake of Andre Roberson's knee injury. As a starter, he registered 11.1 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 34.5 minutes. The 24-year old's best performance came April 6 against the Washington Wizards, posting 25 points (4-5 3Pt) to set a season-high mark in that category. The Thunder advanced to the playoffs with a 55-27 campaign. They beat the Dallas Mavericks and the San Antonio Spurs by 4-1 and 4-2 series margins, respectively, in the first two rounds before losing to the Golden State Warriors (3-4) in the Western Conference Finals. Waiters played all 18 games off bench and averaged 8.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists while shooting a 37.5 percent from three-point range across 27.3 minutes. The shooting guard posted 19 points (4-8 3Pt), four rebounds and three assists in Game 3 of the first round against the Mavericks -- that was his best performance during the team's entire playoff run.

2014

Waiters started the season with the Cavaliers, where he played 33 games (three starts). The guard averaged 10.5 points, 1.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 23.8 minutes per game. He also registered a career-high 1.3 steals per contest. On Dec. 8, Waiters scored 26 points to go with four assists to lead the win against the Brooklyn Nets. The shooting guard was then traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Jan. 5. He debuted for his new team two nights later, posting four points off bench against the Sacramento Kings. Waiters matched his personal best scoring 33 points (5-8 3Pt) on Apr. 15 against the Minnesota Timberwolves. He notched one double-double during the campaign. Waiters averaged 12.7 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 47 appearances with the Thunder (20 starts).

2013

Waiters played in 70 games during his second season with the Cavs, with 24 starts. The second-year guard averaged 15.9 points, 2.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists per contest. He also improved his shooting to 36.9 percent from three-point range, after shooting 31.0 percent from distance during his rookie campaign. Waiters' best performance was Dec. 6 against the Atlanta Hawks, when he posted 30 points, making 13-of-20 field goals. He scored 30 points again on March 30 against the Oklahoma City Thunder to match his season high. Waiters also notched his first double-double on Mar. 18 when he delivered 17 points and 11 assists against the Miami Heat. The guard grabbed eight rebounds on two occasions to set personal bests. On Feb. 14, he participated in the Rising Stars Challenge of the 2014 NBA All-Star Weekend, registering 31 points and seven assists. Waiters missed seven straight games in February due to a knee injury. As a starter, he posted 18.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 33.1 minutes per start. His per-36 scoring improved as well from his rookie campaign, with Waiters posting a mark of 19.3 ppg in that category.

2012

Waiters was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the fourth overall pick during the 2012 NBA Draft. He appeared in 61 games in his rookie season, starting 48 alongside Kyrie Irving in the backcourt. The shooting guard averaged 14.7 points, 2.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.0 steal in 28.8 minutes per contest. He made his NBA debut on opening night, Oct. 30, and scored 17 points, plus added three steals, as a starter in a home win over the Wizards. His best performance was on Jan. 14, posting a career-high 33 points (12-18 FG) and five assists in 29 minutes during a loss at Sacramento. The guard was selected to play in the Rising Stars Challenge of the 2013 NBA All-Star Weekend and scored 23 points. After the end of the regular season, Waiters was named to the All-Rookie First Team. He missed time in December, March and April due to a sprained ankle and a sore knee.

2019
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Transaction History
  • June 28, 2012
    Drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 1st round (4th pick) of the 2012 NBA Draft.
  • July 1, 2012
    Signed a rookie two-year contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers
  • January 5, 2015
    As part of a 3-team trade, traded by the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for a 2016 1st round draft pick
  • July 26, 2016
    Signed a two-year contract with the Miami Heat
  • July 7, 2017
    Signed a four-year contract with the Miami Heat
  • February 6, 2020
    As part of a 3-team trade, traded from the Miami Heat with Justise Winslow to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Andre Iguodala, Jae Crowder and Solomon Hill
  • February 9, 2020
    Waived by the Memphis Grizzlies
  • March 5, 2020
    Signed with the Lakers.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2015
2014
2013
2012
Waiter has played a combined 76 games over the past two seasons due to persistent ankle issues, which he addressed by surgery in late January of 2018, as it was clearly affecting his play. He appeared in 30 games before going under the knife last season, shooting 39.8 percent from the field and 30.6 percent from beyond the arc -- significantly worse than 2016-17’s marks of 42.4 percent and 39.5 percent. Efficiency continues to be what’s holding Waiters back from a higher Fantasy stock. In addition to his subpar field-goal percentage, the seventh-year guard has made just 69.4 percent of his free throws over the past three campaigns. Waiters has seen over 30 minutes per game in each of the past two seasons, though other players -- namely Josh Richardson (a top-40 Fantasy player in 2017-18) -- have stepped up in his absence. So, it’s possible Waiters sees a decline in workload this year. That said, he'll likely continue to be a high-usage player, which gives him a shot at remaining Fantasy relevant in standard formats.
Waiters -- who spent the first four years of his career butting heads in Cleveland and Oklahoma City -- had a resurgence in Miami during the 2016-17 campaign, seeing his points per game rise for the first time since it peaked in 2013-14 (15.9). He also became a better distributor, which had been a knock against him early on in his career, averaging a career high in assists per 36 minutes (5.2). While he appeared in just 46 games with the Heat due to groin and ankle injuries, he started 43 of them and boasted the second highest usage rate on the team (26.3) behind starting point guard Goran Dragic. With the Heat essentially bringing back the same group of guys for next season, it seems reasonable to believe that Waiters will continue to see a significant ballhandling role with the team, giving him plenty of opportunities to rack up stats. Waiters has also shown capability of playing point guard through small forward, giving him plenty of rotational flexibility, which can be beneficial in a variety of formats. While Waiters isn’t an elite Fantasy option, he’s certainly worth considering in the middle rounds of a Fantasy draft, as well as DFS.
After spending the first two-and-a-half seasons with the Cavaliers, Waiters was traded to the Thunder in January of last season. Through 47 games with the Thunder (20 starts), Waiters averaged 12.7 points, 1.1 three-pointer, 2.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.0 steal, and 0.2 blocks in 30 minutes per game while shooting 39 percent from teh field, 32 percent from three, and 63 percent from the line. The mercurial guard appears in line to start at shooting guard this season between Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, which could help him find his offense more easily than he could in his first couple seasons on a losing Cavs team. Waiters' terrible shooting percentages make him a frustrating player to own in fantasy, and with most of his value coming from his production in points and three-pointers, it's hard to see how Waiters could become anything more than fringe fantasy player. Despite his natural talent, Waiters seems to lack the proper mindset to be successful in the NBA. He'll turn 24 years old in December, so there's still an argument that his best days are ahead of him, but the real crux to Waiters' fantasy value this season will be new head coach Billy Donovan. If Donovan starts Waiters at shooting guard, he could be of use in 12-team leagues and larger, but if Waiters gets stuck coming off the bench, it's hard to imagine he'd get enough minutes and shots to matter in anything but the deepest of leagues.
Dion Waiters is entering his third season as a Cavaliers guard. He enjoyed better production in his second season as compared to his rookie year (with the exception of free throw percentage – just 69 percent in 2013-14). After being tried as a starter as a rookie, Waiters only started 24 of 70 games in which he appeared last season as a sophomore in the NBA. The 6-4 guard still played a starter's complement of minutes with 30 per game. He provided 15.9 points on 43 percent from the field, 2.8 rebounds, 3.0 steals, and 0.9 steals. Perhaps his most significant number – particularly with the new regime in Cleveland led by LeBron James – was the 37 percent he shot on three-pointers (a significant increase from his 31 percent in 2012-13). He finished the season on an upswing by averaging 20.3 points and 47 percent on three-pointers in seven April games. If Waiters can continue to knock down long-range shots, he should get plenty of playing time. While opposing defenses try to contain James, Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving, Waiters should get plenty of open three-pointers. The stacked roster may mean fewer opportunities for the former Syracuse Orangeman, but he could see his shooting percentages climb. Waiters will need to continue to improve his movement without the ball, particularly in the cutting Princeton-style offense of David Blatt. He will also need to pay attention on defense, but he should get an opportunity to start at shooting guard in a power-packed lineup.
It should help Waiters' development to play just one position. After getting a trial as a combo guard as a rookie, Waiters will be limited to duty at shooting guard in his second year. The former-Syracuse player averaged 14.7 points but made just 41 percent of his field goals and 31 percent of his three-pointers. While he'll continue to start, his minutes may be limited by Jack's presence, but Waiters could contribute similar numbers if his shooting efficiency can improve.
Despite less than stellar college numbers and rumblings about his attitude at Syracuse, Waiters saw his stock rocket in the offseason, and he ended up as the first surprise pick in the draft when he went fourth. He is expected to be able to get a ton of buckets, and there have been comparisons to Tyreke Evans, who you may recall had a nice rookie season of his own. Even better for Waiters, nobody is likely to mischaracterize him as a point guard, and the Cavs already have Irving. Waiters could be the second leading scorer for Cleveland this season as a rookie, and perhaps even first if things break right for him.
More Fantasy News
Scores 14 points off bench
GLos Angeles Lakers
August 5, 2020
Waiters posted 14 points (5-13 FG, 0-4 3Pt, 4-5 FT), two rebounds, two assists and a steal across 25 minutes in Wednesday's 105-86 loss to the Thunder in Orlando.
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Scores 18 in win
GLos Angeles Lakers
July 27, 2020
Waiters went for 18 points (8-17 FG, 0-2 3PT, 2-4 FT) in Monday's scrimmage against Washington.
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Debuts for Lakers
GLos Angeles Lakers
July 24, 2020
Waiters finished with nine points (3-7 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 2-2 FT), three rebounds and one assist in 14 minutes during Thursday's 108-104 loss to the Mavericks.
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To be inactive Tuesday
GLos Angeles Lakers
Coach's Decision
March 10, 2020
Waiters will not be active for Tuesday's game against the Nets, Brett Dawson of The Athletic reports.
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Won't debut Sunday
GLos Angeles Lakers
Coach's Decision
March 7, 2020
Waiters (coach's decision) won't make his Lakers debut Sunday against the Clippers, Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register reports.
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