Dion Waiters

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Dion Waiters
Dion Waiters (Heat at Wizards 11-19-16).jpg
Waiters with the Miami Heat
No. 11 – Miami Heat
Position Shooting guard
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1991-12-10) December 10, 1991 (age 25)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Listed weight 220 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High school Life Center Academy
(Burlington, New Jersey)
College Syracuse (2010–2012)
NBA draft 2012 / Round: 1 / Pick: 4th overall
Selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers
Playing career 2012–present
Career history
20122015 Cleveland Cavaliers
20152016 Oklahoma City Thunder
2016–present Miami Heat
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 for the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for Syracuse and was selected with the fourth overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Early life[edit]

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.[1] Four hours after Waiters was born, his grandmother died.[2] 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.[1]

High school career[edit]

As a freshman, Waiters attended Bartram High School and South Philadelphia High School in Philadelphia, but did not play basketball at either school.[3] 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.[4]

College career[edit]

Freshman season[edit]

Waiters while at Syracuse

In his freshman season at Syracuse, Waiters averaged 6.6 points, 1.5 assists and 1.6 rebounds per game.[5] In a second round loss to Marquette in the NCAA Tournament, Waiters shot 8-for-10 with 18 points.[4]

Sophomore season[edit]

In his sophomore season at Syracuse, Waiters averaged 12.6 points, 2.5 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game.[5] 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.[6]

College statistics[edit]

2010–11 Syracuse Orange 34 0 16.3 .411 .329 .813 1.6 1.5 1.1 .1 6.6
2011–12 Syracuse Orange 37 0 24.1 .476 .363 .729 2.3 2.5 1.8 .3 12.6

Professional career[edit]

Cleveland Cavaliers (2012–2015)[edit]

Waiters with Cleveland Cavaliers in 2012

Waiters was selected fourth overall in the 2012 NBA draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers despite choosing not to work out for any teams prior to 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.[7] 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.[8] Waiters came off the bench to score 23 points for Team Shaq. Over the course of 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 course of the year.[9]

After his rookie season, Waiters was graded as the fourth best overall rookie by NBA.com, and placed fifth in NBA Rookie of the Year voting with 21 points.[10]

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.[11]

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.[12][13]

Oklahoma City Thunder (2015–2016)[edit]

Dion Waiters with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2015.

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.[14] 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.[15] 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.[16]

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.[17] 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.[18] He returned to the bench on February 24 following Roberson's return from injury.[19] On April 6, he tied his season high with 25 points in a 120–115 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.[20] 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.[21] Following the game, Waiters and the referees were highly scrutinized by the public and media personnel.[22]

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.[23][24]

Miami Heat (2016–present)[edit]

On July 26, 2016, Waiters signed with the Miami Heat.[25] 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.[26] On November 26, he scored a then season-high 28 points in a 110–107 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.[27] Four days later, he was ruled out for two weeks after an MRI revealed he had suffered a Pectineus tear.[28] He returned to action on January 4, 2017 against the Sacramento Kings after missing 20 straight games.[29] On January 21, he tied a career high with 33 points in a 109–97 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.[30] 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.[31] 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.[32] 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.[33]

On July 7, 2017, Waiters re-signed with the Heat.[34]

NBA career statistics[edit]

  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

Regular season[edit]

2012–13 Cleveland 61 48 28.8 .412 .310 .746 2.4 3.0 1.0 .3 14.7
2013–14 Cleveland 70 24 29.6 .433 .368 .685 2.8 3.0 .9 .2 15.9
2014–15 Cleveland 33 3 23.8 .404 .256 .783 1.7 2.2 1.3 .3 10.5
2014–15 Oklahoma City 47 20 30.3 .392 .319 .625 2.9 1.9 1.0 .2 12.7
2015–16 Oklahoma City 78 15 27.6 .399 .357 .713 2.6 2.0 1.0 .2 9.8
2016–17 Miami 46 43 30.1 .423 .394 .646 3.3 4.3 .9 .4 15.8
Career 335 153 28.6 .413 .345 .698 2.7 2.7 1.0 .3 13.2


2016 Oklahoma City 18 0 27.3 .417 .375 .667 2.6 2.3 .6 .2 8.4
Career 18 0 27.3 .417 .375 .667 2.6 2.3 .6 .2 8.4


  • 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)[35]
  • NBA All-Rookie First Team (2013)
  • 2× NBA Rising Star (2013, 2014)
  • NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week (January 23–29, 2017)[36]


  1. ^ a b Swartz, Greg (March 27, 2014). "Dion Waiters Is Finally Growing Up Before Our Very Eyes". BleacherReport.com. Retrieved March 27, 2014. 
  2. ^ Thamel, Pete (March 23, 2012). "Now, Syracuse Guard Restricts Clashes to the Court". NYTimes.com. Retrieved March 23, 2012. 
  3. ^ Philly's Waiters can't wait to begin NBA career
  4. ^ a b "Dion Waiters - 2011-12 Men's Basketball". Cuse.com. Retrieved June 19, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Dion Waiters Stats". Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved June 19, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Lamb Named AP Honorable Mention All-America". uconnhuskies.com. March 27, 2012. Retrieved June 19, 2012. 
  7. ^ Notebook: Kings 124, Cavaliers 118
  8. ^ NBA Rising Stars Challenge 2013 rosters: Get ready to run like mad, Team Shaq
  9. ^ Dion Waiters out with a knee injury
  10. ^ Portland's Lillard named 2012-13 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year
  11. ^ Notebook: Heat 100, Cavaliers 96
  12. ^ 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. 
  13. ^ 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. 
  14. ^ "Thunder Acquires Dion Waiters". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. January 5, 2015. Retrieved January 5, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Durant leads Thunder past Jazz 99-94". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. January 9, 2015. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  16. ^ Thunder at Minnesota Timberwolves Game Recap – April 15, 2015
  17. ^ Dion Waiters 2015-16 Game Log
  18. ^ Durant scores season-high 44, Thunder beat Knicks in OT
  19. ^ Mayberry, Darnell (February 24, 2016). "Oklahoma City Thunder: Andre Roberson returning to the starting lineup". NewsOK.com. Retrieved February 25, 2016. 
  20. ^ "Trail Blazers defeat Thunder 120-115, clinch playoff berth". NBA.com. April 6, 2016. Retrieved April 7, 2016. 
  21. ^ "Thunder hold on beat Spurs 98-97, even series at 1-1". NBA.com. May 2, 2016. Retrieved May 2, 2016. 
  22. ^ 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. 
  23. ^ Ingrassia, Nunzio (July 18, 2016). "Thunder reportedly rescind offer to Dion Waiters, making him a free agent". FoxSports.com. Retrieved July 19, 2016. 
  24. ^ "Why the Thunder reportedly rescinded their qualifying offer to G Dion Waiters". Yahoo.com. July 19, 2016. Retrieved July 19, 2016. 
  25. ^ "HEAT Signs Dion Waiters". NBA.com. July 26, 2016. Retrieved July 26, 2016. 
  26. ^ "Heat vs. Magic – Box Score". ESPN.com. October 26, 2016. Retrieved November 1, 2016. 
  27. ^ "Conley's late flurry lifts Grizzlies over Heat, 110-107". ESPN.com. November 26, 2016. Retrieved November 27, 2016. 
  28. ^ "Waiters Suffers Pectineus Tear". NBA.com. November 30, 2016. Retrieved November 30, 2016. 
  29. ^ Winderman, Ira (January 5, 2017). "Next challenge for Heat is finding role for Waiters in crowded backcourt". Sun-Sentinel.com. Retrieved January 7, 2017. 
  30. ^ "Dion Waiters scores 33 to help Heat beat Bucks 109-97". ESPN.com. January 21, 2017. Retrieved January 22, 2017. 
  31. ^ "Waiters for the win: Heat stun Warriors, 105-102". ESPN.com. January 23, 2017. Retrieved January 24, 2017. 
  32. ^ "Dion Waiters, DeMarcus Cousins named NBA Players of the Week". NBA.com. January 30, 2017. Retrieved January 31, 2017. 
  33. ^ "Win and stay home: Heat beat Wizards 110-102, miss playoffs". ESPN.com. April 12, 2017. Retrieved April 13, 2017. 
  34. ^ "HEAT Re-Signs Dion Waiters". NBA.com. July 7, 2017. Retrieved July 7, 2017. 
  35. ^ Waiters Named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month
  36. ^ Dion Waiters becomes Miami Heat's first NBA Player of the Week in a year

External links[edit]