Dion Waiters
Dion Waiters
27-Year-Old GuardG
Miami Heat
Injury Suspension
Est. Return 12/1/2019
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 four-year, $52 million contract with the Heat in July of 2017.
Handed 10-game ban
GMiami Heat
November 10, 2019
Waiters received a 10-game suspension from the Heat on Sunday, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.
The official reasoning is conduct detrimental to the team after Waiters had issues on the team plane earlier in the week. According to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel, the suspension started for last Friday's game against the Lakers, so the 27-year-old will be eligible to return Dec. 1 versus the Nets. It's the second time this season Waiters has been dealt a team-imposed suspension.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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
Out with illness
GMiami Heat
November 8, 2019
Waiters (illness) won't play Friday against the Lakers, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald reports.
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Active Thursday
GMiami Heat
November 7, 2019
Waiters (illness) is active, though it's unclear if he'll play Thursday against the Suns, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald reports.
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Questionable Thursday
GMiami Heat
November 7, 2019
Waiters is questionable for Thursday's matchup against the Suns due to a stomachache, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports.
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Inactive Tuesday
GMiami Heat
Coach's Decision
November 5, 2019
Waiters will be inactive for Tuesday's matchup against the Nuggets, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports.
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Available Sunday
GMiami Heat
November 2, 2019
Waiters (coach's decision) will be available for Sunday's matchup with the Rockets, Khobi Price of the Sun Sentinel reports.
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