The NBA offseason has been incredibly busy, and there are still quite a few free agents still looking for a deal to sign. Kevin Durant has decided to sign with the Golden State Warriors, which should unleash the second round of free agent signings. Dion Waiters is one of the players in the second tier of free agency, and interest will heat up in him in the near future.
It was reported early on that the Sacramento Kings were interested in signing Waiters. They seem to have gone a different direction, which leaves one team as a perfect landing spot for him.
Looking at the Oklahoma City Thunder, they need as much talent as possible to help replace Durant. It is obvious that they will take a step back, but bringing Waiters back could help them in the offensive category. Waiters was a key piece for the Thunder bench last season and would likely be interested in returning.
Last season with the Thunder, Waiters ended up averaging 9.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game. He shot 39.9 percent from the field overall and knocked down 35.8 percent from the three-point line.
At 24-years-old, Waiters still has plenty of potential to work his way into. He would play into his prime with the Thunder, and he showed last season that he can be a solid scorer and a playmaker as well. There is a good chance that the Thunder will still be one of the top teams in the Western Conference, but they need to bring in another piece or two.
Russell Westbrook will be able to step up as the franchise player for Oklahoma City, as he already started to do last season. He will keep the Thunder in serious contention, but there isn’t much of a chance that he can power the team past the Warriors.
Oklahoma City does have a very talented front-court with Steven Adams and Enes Kanter teaming up. They were able to acquire Victor Oladipo from the Orlando Magic in the draft night trade that sent Serge Ibaka out of town. He will help, but the Thunder will need to improve their depth.
Golden State is widely believed to be the front-runner to win the NBA Finals next year. Adding Durant to the core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green is simply hard to comprehend. Steve Kerr has one of the best rosters that the NBA has ever seen.
Waiters would certainly fit better with the Thunder than any other team in need of a shooting guard. He wouldn’t be the starter with Oladipo in town, but he would assume a role as one of the top scorers off the bench.
There is no telling what kind of contract Waiters will be looking for from the Thunder. He likely would be affordable for them, especially with Durant no longer on the books. If the Thunder truly want to remain serious contenders in the West, they can’t afford to worry about how much they spend to bring in impact scorers.
All of that being said, it will be interesting to see what happens with Waiters moving forward this offseason.
Obviously, losing Durant is a tough break for the Thunder, but they can still stay relevant. Westbrook is a legitimate superstar, and the Thunder can build around him. Waiters would fit nicely, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him end up back in town.
Do you think the Oklahoma City Thunder should look to sign Dion Waiters in the near future? Would he be a helpful addition to keeping the Thunder in serious playoff contention? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[AP Photo/Alonzo Adams]