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Dion Waiters Says He’s Elated to Play Alongside Dwyane Wade for 1st Time
- Updated: December 20, 2018
The 6-foot-4 pro will take the floor with franchise icon Dwyane Wade for the first time very soon. While the two will be fighting to make the playoffs, Waiters is elated to play alongside one of the game’s greatest players, per Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.
“Like I said, man, scratch it off the bucket list, just being able to go out there and learn from a guy, be able to pick his brain,” Waiters said. “Even when I wasn’t playing, I was just constantly asking him questions, even like about life off the court, businesses, little things.”
Waiters, 27, had surgery on his left ankle last January, keeping the youngster out for the remainder of the 2017-18 NBA season. A few weeks after the guard underwent the operation, the Heat acquired Wade in a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers. Although the two haven’t played an NBA game together yet, Waiters is being intentional around the 2006 Finals MVP in practices and drills.
“Man, just I’m asking him as much as I can,” said Waiters.
Perhaps the best way Wade can go out when he retires is to pass the baton to Waiters. Although Waiters is light years away from matching the three-time champion’s overall production, the Syracuse University product has showed tons of potential. Before Waiters got injured, he made clutch shots, took over games and functioned as a modest playmaker.
After originally signing with the Heat in the summer of 2016, the guard put up 15.8 points, 4.3 assists and 3.3 rebounds per game during the 2016-17 season. The encouraging play led the Heat to re-sign Waiters to a four-year, $52 million deal in 2017.
However, as a result of a nagging ankle injury, the fourth pick in the 2011 draft saw his numbers drop during the 2017-18 season to 14.3 points, 3.8 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game.