The Miami Heat moved quickly Tuesday to announce the official signing of free agent guard Dion Waiters, with a statement from president Pat Riley.
"Dion is not a Room Exception player," said Riley. "He wanted to play for the Miami HEAT and chose to forgo other more lucrative financial opportunities to be a part of our championship organization. We are very honored that he made the commitment to come to South Florida and sign with us. Dion is young, athletic and explosive, which fits in with our roster. He will add a great dimension for us at the off-guard spot. I really like the depth and versatility that we now have in our perimeter positions. Welcome aboard Dion!"
Waiters has appeared in 289 games (110 starts) over his four-year NBA career and averaged 12.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.01 steals and 28.3 minutes while shooting 41.1 percent from the field, 33.4 percent from three-point range and 70.7 percent from the foul line. The former fourth overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft was named to the 2012-13 NBA All-Rookie First Team and earned NBA Rookie of the Month honors in February of 2013.
Waiters appeared in a career-high 78 games (15 starts) with the Oklahoma City Thunder last season and averaged 9.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.04 steals and 27.6 minutes while shooting 39.9 percent from the field, 35.8 percent from three-point range and 71.3 percent from the foul line. He came off the Thunder bench in 63 contests, helping the OKC reserves outscore their opponents reserves 32 times, recording a 29-3 record over that span. He led the team in points twice and scored in double-figures 34 times, including four 20-point games. He posted a 19-point game vs. Phoenix on November 8, and along with Enes Kanter's 21 points, they became the first pair of teammates in the Thunder era to each score at least 19 points off the bench during a single game. In his 15 starts, Waiters averaged above his season averages of points (11.1), rebounds (3.0), steals (1.60) and free throw percentage (.786). Additionally, he appeared in all 18 postseason games with the Thunder and averaged 8.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 27.3 minutes while shooting 41.7 percent from the field, 37.5 percent from three-point range and 66.7 percent from the foul line. He scored in double-figures seven times, including a 19-point game in a win during Game Three of the Western Conference First Round against Dallas, and again paired with Enes Kanter's 21 points to become the first set of teammates to each score at least 19 points off the bench in a playoff game in Thunder history.
I didn't do it for the money... I did it for the opportunity to go out & ball & have fun. Everything else will take care of its self!!! I just felt like it was the best situation for me...& my family. I could have waited & got wat I wanted. But I rather be happy then miserable at the end of the day!!! Meaning Yu can have everything & still not be happy... #heatnation let's get it!!! #provethemwrong #stamped #Philly
Waiters will wear No. 11 with the Heat, instead of his usual No. 3 which was of course used until recently by Dwyane Wade.