Dion Waiters is no longer on the market, and the Miami Heat re-signed NBA fans’ new favorite player to a multi-year deal on Wednesday.

I don’t think I can be friends with you if you’re not rooting for Dion Waiters. The Cleveland Cavaliers picked him fourth overall in the 2012 draft, and he spent two-and-a-half years with them before being a piece in the three-team deal that sent J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert to the Cavs. Waiters then landed in Oklahoma City. He played in 78 games in 2015-16. That marked his fourth completed season, and Waiters had his ups and downs.

The two years with the Cavaliers were better than expected, but he failed to reach those levels of production with the Thunder. By the end of 2015, Waiters was averaging 14.0 points, 2.6 assists, 2.5 boards while shooting 41.4 percent from the field. He’d spend one more season in Oklahoma City, but it was a huge letdown. The 24-year-old struggled mightily. He finished the season with just 9.8 points a night, and he dipped below 40 percent shooting for the second-straight season. Oklahoma City didn’t re-sign him.

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Pat Riley and the ever-optimistic Miami Heat came into the picture. For about $2.9 million, they found a new shooting guard, and little did they know he’d be worth every penny — and then some.

Waiters had the best season of his young career and got rewarded with a four-year, $52 million deal from Miami. He reached a level of play that we’ve never seen before, where he did a bit of everything and became a player that had you checking the box score each morning to see if he did anything spectacular. The worst part about this past season was Waiters played just 46 games and missed Miami’s historic run to finish the campaign. However, in the contests he played, he was electrifying.

In 30.1 minutes, Waiters threw up a cool 15.8 points, 4.3 assists and 3.3 rebounds while shooting 39.5 percent from three. Never before would we consider him a marksman, but that entire narrative changed. In addition to his stats, he had his fair share of jaw-dropping moments. Waiters cracked the 30-point plateau twice, with 33 coming against the Golden State Warriors. His night was far from typical.

That was the game that made Dion Waiters a Twitter legend and spawned one of the best GIFs of the year — him looking toward the crowd with his arms crossed, slightly nodding in approval of what he did. And he was more than allowed to act that way. The Warriors terrific season was documented ad nauseum, but Waiters’ game-winning three on Jan. 23 is one of the most memorable moments. After Kevin Durant had thrown down a dunk to tie the game at 102, Waiters got the inbounds pass with 11.7 seconds left. He dribbled the ball up court slowly, trying to take as much time off the clock as possible. Once he crossed halfcourt, Waiters went to his right, then back to the left with a through-the-legs dribble and pulled up from three in Klay Thompson’s grill.

Game time. The ball snapped the net before being drowned out by the Heat faithful, and the Heat went on to win 105-102. It’s not often you can say that Dion Waiters outplayed two former MVPs and two other All-Stars, but it happened.

Of course, he wasn’t done yet. Just two nights later, Waiters poured in 14 fourth quarter points as the Heat came back from 18 down against the Nets in Brooklyn. Overall, Waiters tallied 24 points and eight assists, and his aggression down the stretch was something to behold. It didn’t matter where the shots came from, and it didn’t matter who was defending him.

Oh, and he hit another clutch triple. It wasn’t a game-winner, but it ended the Nets’ chance of coming back by stretching the lead to 107-103. (Being a Nets fan, you know what pain is. It was painful to watch. But it was also incredible.)

After that, Waiters cooled off for a bit. Oddly enough, he had two forgettable games before a memorable one.

This time, it was the Cavaliers who got a first-class trip to Waiters island. On Mar. 6, he took out his anger on the team that drafted him and dropped 29 in an eight-point victory. Unlike his performance against the Warriors, Waiters wasn’t the best player, but Miami played like the better team. Outside of LeBron James (30 points, 17 rebounds, six assists) and Kyrie Irving (32 points, seven rebounds), Cleveland didn’t get much help.

Waiters had Goran Dragic and Wayne Ellington deliver 21 and 18 points, respectively, and Hassan Whiteside chipped in 13 points and 11 boards.

Again, it was Waiters who put the nail in the coffin. En route to his 29 points, he buried yet another clutch triple. And this one was just as deflating as the others. With about 15 seconds left, Waiters banked home a catch-and-shoot three from the logo in Cleveland. Yes, that’s the most Dion Waiters shot ever. The crowd “oh’d” collectively as their former lottery pick barked at them, and rightfully so. He put the Heat up 106-98, and that would be the final. That game against the Cavaliers was his last outburst. He poured in 24, 20, 20, 14 and six before going down with his injury, but Waiters is wholly deserving of his $13 million annual salary.

He’s a versatile scorer who’s expanded his game tremendously since entering the league. That leeway allows Miami to do more with their offense, and that was something they struggled with last season. Maybe we’ll see Waiters handle the ball more and share point guard duties with Dragic, which would be one of the biggest treats of the year.

I’m glad that we saw Waiters get paid, but I’m also glad that Miami didn’t break the bank. Anything more than this would make me a bit apprehensive considering Waiters’ skillset. He may be a dynamo on offense in limited minutes, but defensively it’s a different story. One side of the ball is far more polished than the other, and that’s okay given the Heat’s strong collective.

Miami can go out and pursue other guys who will hopefully put them over the edge. If they were fully healthy during the run they put together at the end of the year, there’s no doubt that they’re sneaking into the postseason as the eighth seed. Both ends of the floor were clicking, and it would’ve only been better if Waiters were on the court. This year, with a weak Eastern Conference, the Miami Heat can make headlines, and I think we’ll see Waiters have a breakout season.

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