Dion Waiters is one of the remaining quality players available in 2016 free agency. On Monday, the Oklahoma City Thunder rescinded his qualifying offer to make the shooting guard an unrestricted free agent (UFA), which will make it easier for other teams like the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers to get sign him this summer.
The 23-year-old shooting guard is seen as a good fit with the Nets’ Jeremy Lin and Brook Lopez or the Sixers, which has many big men but have a shallow rotation in the guard positions.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports confirmed OKC’s decision to rescind the qualifying offer.
Sources on @TheVertical: Oklahoma City has rescinded qualifying offer on Dion Waiters, allowing him to become an unrestricted free agent.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 19, 2016
Waiters is a five-year veteran who has played for the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2012 to 2015 before landing with the Thunder the last two seasons. As one of bench players for OKC, Waiters averaged 9.8 points per game in 78 games in the regular season and 8.4 points per game in the playoffs.
However, Waiters had shown in the past that he can be one of the first options on offense when he averaged in double figures with the Cavaliers in previous seasons. In his second year in the league, in Cleveland, Waiters averaged 15.9 points per game.
The Sixers and Nets are in search of additional depth especially in the guards position. Brooklyn failed in their attempt to get Tyler Johnson (Miami Heat) and Allen Crabbe (Portland Trail Blazers), who were both restricted free agents and were retained by their respective teams.
The Nets acquired Jeremy Lin earlier in free agency and are also rumored to other free agents like J.R. Smith. However, Waiters is expected to demand a cheaper deal than Smith and is also the younger player.
Philadelphia wants to add shooters to a team that already has many big men like Dario Saric, Ben Simmons, Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor. Adding Waiters makes sense since he is a shooter and can play the starting SG spot with the Sixers.
Should Dion Waiters join Jeremy Lin and Brook Lopez in Brooklyn? Or should the shooting guard choose the young guys at Philadelphia?