5. Dion Waiters | 4-years, $52 million
The fourth pick in the 2012 NBA Draft by the Cleveland, Dion Waiters, at various times throughout his career, seemed to have elite scoring potential. That potential was never fully reached, however.
After LeBron James made his famed return to the Cavaliers, it took less than one season for it to become clear that the team was better off trading whatever potential Waiters still had for “win-now” options.
After a 125-game stint with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Waiters hit free agency initially as a restricted free agent until the Thunder rescinded his qualifying offer, allowing Waiters to become an unrestricted free agent.
Finding his next home with the Miami Heat, Dion Waiters signed a two-year deal worth $5.9 million and included a player option for the second year. Waiter’s spot on this list is not about his initial contract with Miami but the deal he received when he resigned the following year. His first year with the Heat was quite promising, as he averaged 15.8 points while shooting 39.5% from beyond the arc, making his initial deal look like a bargain. That was soon to change, however.
Ahead of the 2017-18 season, Waiters declined his player option and resigned with the Heat on a four-year, $52 million deal. The Heat were now a full year removed from the Dwayne Wade era, and Waiters simply outperformed Josh Richardson and Tyler Johnson. It seemed that the team had little chance but to bet on his continued development, but, unfortunately for the Heat, that was just not meant to be.
Waiters would go on to average 12.8 points per game, along with a disappointing 40.6/35.5/64.0 slashing line over 77 games spanning two and a half seasons. While much of the misfortune surrounding Waiters’ time with the Heat could be attributed to a myriad of injuries, signing an inefficient volume scorer who had little else to his game was a questionable move from its inception.