Last season was exactly the kind of year Dion Waiters needed to rebuild standing in the NBA. It’s not surprising to find him weighing offers from a number of teams, with the Miami Heat (who he played for last season), Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks all waiting to hear from him, while the Chicago Bulls are also hovering somewhere in the background.
Waiters, coming off playing for just $3 million last season in Miami (after putting himself in a position to earn less so he can earn more in the future), is looking into a lot more money this season, but not necessarily a lot of years. The 25-year old is still considered as someone who might not be the most solid of foundations to build around, whether in the lineup or out of it. The Knicks for certain aren’t in the business of giving long term deals to veterans right now, and the Lakers might also be wary. The Heat are probably the best bet of a multi-year deal with guaranteed money (a 1+1 with team option could come from New York and Los Angeles).
Waiters isn’t going to make J.J. Redick money, but he’ll double his salary and more, and the Redick contract in Philly might be what a lot of teams trying to build but with money to spend will go after – sign a veteran for one season, perhaps even overpay him if they’re way under the cap, and then see where they go from there, without over-committing and putting themselves in a problematic cap situation.
Waiters, as mentioned above, played his part last season. He averaged 15.8 points while shooting 39.5% from three in 30.1 minutes per game, although he did play for just half a season. When translating this into stock prices, it certainly has risen for Waiters, but probably not enough to give him a long-term deal he’s been waiting for. He might need another good season without interferences to put himself in that kind of position, missing out on two years of free agency bonanzas.