Waiters with the Thunder in 2015
|Born||December 10, 1991|
|Listed height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Listed weight||210 lb (95 kg)|
|High school||Life Center Academy|
(Burlington, New Jersey)
|NBA draft||2012 / Round: 1 / Pick: 4th overall|
|Selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers|
|2015–2016||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|2020||Los Angeles Lakers|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at NBA.com|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Dion Waiters (born December 10, 1991) is an American professional basketball player who last played for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the Syracuse Orange and was selected with the fourth overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Waiters also played for the Oklahoma City Thunder, Miami Heat, and the Los Angeles Lakers, where he won an NBA championship.
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Dion Waiters Sr. and Monique Brown, Waiters was raised by his mother, who had him when she was 17; his father was in jail at the time of his birth. Four hours after Waiters was born, his grandmother died. Waiters grew up playing basketball wherever he could, regardless of weather or time of day. Away from basketball, his home life revolved around his mother and stepfather, James Barnes.
High school career
As a freshman, Waiters attended Bartram High School and South Philadelphia High School in Philadelphia, but did not play basketball at either school. Waiters committed to Syracuse during the summer after his freshman year despite not having played a minute of high school ball. In his sophomore year of high school, Waiters attended South Kent School. Waiters then played basketball at Life Center Academy his junior and senior years. Following his senior year, Waiters was ranked as the 15th best overall recruit according to ESPNU and ranked as the No. 2 best shooting guard in the ESPN 100. Waiters was also ranked as the 29th best overall recruit by Rivals.com.
In his freshman season at Syracuse, Waiters averaged 6.6 points, 1.5 assists and 1.6 rebounds per game. In a second round loss to Marquette in the NCAA Tournament, Waiters shot 8-for-10 with 18 points.
In his sophomore season at Syracuse, Waiters averaged 12.6 points, 2.5 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game. He was named the Big East Sixth Man of the Year, earned third-team All-Big East honors, was named AP Honorable Mention All-American, and was selected to the All-Big East Tournament team.
Cleveland Cavaliers (2012–2015)
Waiters was selected fourth overall in the 2012 NBA draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers despite choosing not to work out for any teams before the draft. This was a choice he made after receiving a promise from a team in the middle of the lottery that they would draft him if available. Many scouts also found it a surprise that Waiters was drafted so high because he did not start in college and played zone defense at Syracuse.
On January 14, 2013, Waiters scored a career-high 33 points against the Sacramento Kings, doing so on 12-of-18 shooting. Waiters was selected to play in the Rising Stars Challenge game during 2013 NBA All-Star Weekend, along with teammates Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson, and Tyler Zeller. Waiters came off the bench to score 23 points for Team Shaq. Throughout his rookie season, Waiters both started and came off the bench for the Cavaliers. He was consistently bothered by a sprained ankle and loose cartilage in his knee, forcing him to miss 21 games over the year.
On February 14, 2014, Waiters participated in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge. He finished the game with 31 points and 7 assists.
On March 18, 2014, Waiters recorded his first career double-double with 17 points and a career-high 11 assists in a loss to the Miami Heat.
On November 5, 2014, Waiters was absent for the U.S. national anthem and was quoted saying that he stayed in the locker room because of his Muslim faith. He later stated that the report about his religious beliefs having anything to do with him skipping the national anthem was entirely false.
Oklahoma City Thunder (2015–2016)
On January 5, 2015, Waiters was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder from the Cavaliers in a three-team trade that also involved the New York Knicks. Cleveland received Iman Shumpert and J. R. Smith from the Knicks and a first-round pick in the 2015 NBA draft from the Thunder, while Cleveland sent Lou Amundson, Alex Kirk, and a second-round pick in the 2019 NBA draft to the Knicks, and the Thunder sent Lance Thomas to the Knicks. After a poor debut for the Thunder against the Sacramento Kings on January 7 where he scored 4 points on 1-of-9 shooting, he scored 15 points on 7-of-14 shooting two days later to help the Thunder defeat the Utah Jazz, 99–94. On April 15, 2015, in the team's final game of the season, Waiters tied his career-high with 33 points in a 138–113 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Waiters garnered a bench role for the Thunder in 2015–16 under new head coach Billy Donovan. He started in just two games for the team over the first half of the season, playing back up to André Roberson. On November 10, 2015, he scored a season-high 25 points in a 125–101 win over the Washington Wizards. With a knee injury to Roberson in late January, Donovan entrusted Waiters with stepping up to a starting role. On January 26, in his first start since November 22, Waiters scored 14 points in a 128–122 overtime win over the New York Knicks. He returned to the bench on February 24 following Roberson's return from injury. On April 6, he tied his season-high with 25 points in a 120–115 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. In Game 2 of the Thunder's semi-final series against the San Antonio Spurs, with San Antonio trailing 98–97 with 13.5 seconds remaining and Oklahoma City out of timeouts, Waiters elbowed Spurs guard Manu Ginóbili to get the space needed to inbound the ball. Following the game, Waiters and the referees were highly scrutinized by the public and media personnel.
On June 27, 2016, the Thunder tendered a qualifying offer to make Waiters a restricted free agent. However, on July 18, the Thunder rescinded their qualifying offer, allowing him to become an unrestricted free agent.
Miami Heat (2016–2020)
On July 26, 2016, Waiters signed with the Miami Heat. He made his debut for the Heat in their season opener on October 26 against the Orlando Magic. In 34 minutes as a starter, he recorded nine points, six rebounds and four assists in a 108–96 win. On November 26, he scored a then season-high 28 points in a 110–107 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. Four days later, he was ruled out for two weeks after an MRI revealed he had suffered a Pectineus tear. He returned to action on January 4, 2017 against the Sacramento Kings after missing 20 straight games. On January 21, he tied a career-high with 33 points in a 109–97 win over the Milwaukee Bucks. Two days later, he made a three-pointer with 0.6 seconds left to cap his second-straight 33-point effort, as he lifted the Heat to a 105–102 win over the Golden State Warriors. He finished the game with six three-pointers on eight attempts. On January 30, 2017, he was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played Monday, January 23 through Sunday, January 29. Waiters led the Heat to a 4–0 week as Miami extended its winning streak to seven games. He averaged 23.3 points (tied for eighth in the East), 5.0 assists and 4.5 rebounds. Waiters missed the final 13 games of the season with an ankle injury, as the Heat missed a playoff spot with a ninth-seed finish and a 41–41 record.
On July 7, 2017, Waiters re-signed with the Heat. On October 30, 2017, he tied his career high with 33 points in a 125–122 overtime loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. In January 2018, his long-problematic left ankle forced him to the sidelines indefinitely, and on January 22, he underwent successful surgery to repair instability in the left ankle. A preexisting navicular bone fracture was also repaired.
On December 28, 2018, Waiters was sent to Miami's NBA G League affiliate team, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, for a rehabilitation assignment. On January 2, 2019, he made his return for the Heat, scoring seven points in six minutes in a 117–92 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was his first game since December 22, 2017. Far from 100 percent fit, he played the game due to Dwyane Wade being sidelined by a virus. His second game of the season came on January 8, scoring a team-high 15 points in a 103–99 loss to the Denver Nuggets.
On October 19, 2019, Waiters was suspended for Miami's 2019–20 season debut game for "conduct detrimental to the team." On November 8, Waiters missed a game against the Los Angeles Lakers due to a panic attack he experienced while flying to the game. His panic attack stemmed from over-consumption of THC-infused edibles. Two days later, the Heat suspended Waiters for 10 games, including the previous game he missed, for the consumed edible. On December 12th, the Heat suspended him again, this time for six games, for calling in to work with an illness, then posting a picture of himself on his Instagram page on a boat celebrating his birthday. On January 24, 2020, Waiters made his season debut scoring 14 points in a 122–117 loss against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Los Angeles Lakers (2020)
The Lakers went on to make the 2020 NBA Finals, facing the Miami Heat. Due to league rules, regardless of who won, Waiters was entitled to an NBA championship ring. The Lakers beat the Heat in 6 games to give Waiters his first championship.
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
|†||Won an NBA championship|
- Second-team Parade All-American (2010)
- Jordan Brand All-American (2010)
- Big East Sixth Man of the Year (2012)
- Third-team All-Big East (2012)
- Big East All-Tournament Team (2012)
- NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month (February 2013)
- NBA All-Rookie First Team (2013)
- 2× NBA Rising Star (2013, 2014)
- NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week (January 23–29, 2017)
- Swartz, Greg (March 27, 2014). "Dion Waiters Is Finally Growing Up Before Our Very Eyes". BleacherReport.com. Retrieved March 27, 2014.
- Thamel, Pete (March 23, 2012). "Now, Syracuse Guard Restricts Clashes to the Court". NYTimes.com. Retrieved March 23, 2012.
- Philly's Waiters can't wait to begin NBA career
- Tragedy can't define Dion Waiters
- "Dion Waiters - 2011-12 Men's Basketball". Cuse.com. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
- "Dion Waiters Stats". Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
- "Lamb Named AP Honorable Mention All-America". uconnhuskies.com. March 27, 2012. Archived from the original on May 14, 2012. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
- "Notebook: Kings 124, Cavaliers 118". Archived from the original on 2017-03-15. Retrieved 2013-05-26.
- NBA Rising Stars Challenge 2013 rosters: Get ready to run like mad, Team Shaq
- Dion Waiters out with a knee injury
- "Portland's Lillard named 2012-13 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year". Archived from the original on 2018-01-18. Retrieved 2013-07-28.
- "Notebook: Heat 100, Cavaliers 96". Archived from the original on 2015-02-20. Retrieved 2014-03-19.
- Peters, Micah. "Dion Waiters says he skipped anthem because of his Muslim faith, then blasts report". USA Today Sports. Archived from the original on 12 November 2014. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
- Pollakoff, Brett. "Dion Waiters calls report he skipped national anthem due to being Muslim 'a damn lie'". nbcsports.com. NBC Sports. Archived from the original on 9 November 2014. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
- "Thunder Acquires Dion Waiters". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. January 5, 2015. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
- "Durant leads Thunder past Jazz 99-94". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. January 9, 2015. Archived from the original on March 14, 2017. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
- Thunder at Minnesota Timberwolves Game Recap – April 15, 2015
- Dion Waiters 2015-16 Game Log
- "Durant scores season-high 44, Thunder beat Knicks in OT". Archived from the original on 2016-01-28. Retrieved 2016-01-27.
- Mayberry, Darnell (February 24, 2016). "Oklahoma City Thunder: Andre Roberson returning to the starting lineup". NewsOK.com. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
- "Trail Blazers defeat Thunder 120-115, clinch playoff berth". NBA.com. April 6, 2016. Archived from the original on April 8, 2016. Retrieved April 7, 2016.
- "Thunder hold on beat Spurs 98-97, even series at 1-1". NBA.com. May 2, 2016. Archived from the original on May 3, 2016. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
- O'Donnell, Ricky (May 2, 2016). "Dion Waiters elbows Manu Ginobili from out of bounds, gets away with it". SBNation.com. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
- Ingrassia, Nunzio (July 18, 2016). "Thunder reportedly rescind offer to Dion Waiters, making him a free agent". FoxSports.com. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
- "Why the Thunder reportedly rescinded their qualifying offer to G Dion Waiters". Yahoo.com. July 19, 2016. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
- "HEAT Signs Dion Waiters". NBA.com. July 26, 2016. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
- "Heat vs. Magic – Box Score". ESPN.com. October 26, 2016. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
- "Conley's late flurry lifts Grizzlies over Heat, 110-107". ESPN.com. November 26, 2016. Retrieved November 27, 2016.
- "Waiters Suffers Pectineus Tear". NBA.com. November 30, 2016. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
- Winderman, Ira (January 5, 2017). "Next challenge for Heat is finding role for Waiters in crowded backcourt". Sun-Sentinel.com. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
- "Dion Waiters scores 33 to help Heat beat Bucks 109-97". ESPN.com. January 21, 2017. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
- "Waiters for the win: Heat stun Warriors, 105-102". ESPN.com. January 23, 2017. Retrieved January 24, 2017.
- "Dion Waiters, DeMarcus Cousins named NBA Players of the Week". NBA.com. January 30, 2017. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
- "Win and stay home: Heat beat Wizards 110-102, miss playoffs". ESPN.com. April 12, 2017. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
- "HEAT Re-Signs Dion Waiters". NBA.com. July 7, 2017. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
- "Minnesota hangs on in overtime, tops Miami 125-122". ESPN.com. October 30, 2017. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
- Reynolds, Tim (January 11, 2018). "Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters to have ankle surgery". NBA.com. Retrieved February 13, 2018.
- "Dion Waiters Undergoes Surgery". NBA.com. January 23, 2018. Retrieved February 13, 2018.
- Chiang, Anthony (December 28, 2018). "The next step in Heat's Dion Waiters' journey back from ankle surgery? Time in G League". miamiherald.com. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
- "Richardson leads Wade-less Heat past Cavaliers, 117-92". ESPN.com. January 2, 2019. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
- "Young, Collins power undermanned Hawks past Heat". ESPN.com. January 6, 2019. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
Waiters, who played that game because Wade was sidelined by a virus, is still limited by a sore left ankle that required surgery last January.
- "Jokic has triple-double, Nuggets top Heat 103-99". ESPN.com. January 8, 2019. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
- Heat's Dion Waiters Suspended 1 Game for Conduct Detrimental to Team
- "Heat guard Dion Waiters missed game vs. Lakers with panic attack, reportedly caused by marijuana edibles". cbssports.com. November 9, 2019. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
- Heat Statement on Dion Waiters
- Marc Stein on Twitter: "The Heat have suspended Dion Waiters again ... this time for continued insubordination..."
- Dion Waiters found a way to almost top his THC edibles suspension
- "Dion Waiters nearly leads Heat to double-digit comeback vs. Clippers, scoring 14 points in season debut". cbssports.com. January 24, 2020. Retrieved January 25, 2020.
- "Memphis Grizzlies acquire Justise Winslow, Gorgui Dieng and Dion Waiters in three-team trade with Miami Heat and Minnesota Timberwolves". NBA.com. February 6, 2020. Retrieved February 6, 2020.
- "Memphis Grizzlies waive Dion Waiters". NBA.com. February 9, 2020. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
- "Lakers Sign Dion Waiters". NBA.com. March 6, 2020. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
- "Dion Waiters signs with Lakers". ESPN.com. March 5, 2020. Retrieved March 6, 2020.
- Waiters Named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month
- Dion Waiters becomes Miami Heat's first NBA Player of the Week in a year