When four-time MVP LeBron James announced his decision to leave the Miami HEAT and sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers as a free agent last summer, the expectation was that shooting guard Dion Waiters would be a key part of the team’s future.
However, things quickly soured between Waiters and the Cavaliers this season, which led to the guard being dealt to Oklahoma City in a three-team trade earlier this month.
Since Waiters has gained a reputation for having an attitude problem and generally being hard to work with, it wasn’t surprising to see speculation immediately focus on how he would fit with the Thunder – in a presumably more limited role.
However, Thunder veteran center Kendrick Perkins says he hasn’t witnessed any of the negative stuff surrounding Waiters since he arrived to Oklahoma City and vouches for the guard’s work ethic.
“It doesn’t matter what you heard [in the media],” Perkins told Basketball Insiders on Waiters’ perceived reputation. “I’ve been impressed with his ability on the defensive end. The way he gets physical on the defensive end. The way he locks in. I have been more impressed with that. We already know he can score the ball. But I have been impressed with the commitment he’s shown on the defensive end.”
Waiters is averaging 11.9 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.6 steals in seven games since joining the Thunder.
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