The injury is not believed to be serious and Waiters is expected to play in Saturday's game at Memphis. In 44 games, Waiters is averaging 10.6 points and 1.8 rebounds.
"Right now he’s coming off the bench," Brooks said of Waiters. "We have things to work on and things to get better. I’m not focused on who’s starting. I’m focused on guys in there playing well because the minutes can be spread out. We just want guys to compete for those minutes. And being around him for the week, he’s going to compete for those minutes. It’s not something I’m looking into at the moment. But I like what he brings to our team. Sam (Presti) brought him in to add to our team, and I think he’s going to be able to do that."
Waiters is averaging 9.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.0 assists in two games since being acquired in a trade from Cleveland.
Waiters was acquired in a trade with the Cavaliers. In 33 games with the Cavaliers, Waiters averaged 10.5 points and 2.2 assists.
The Thunder are 7 1/2-point favorites.
Newly acquired shooting guard
Waiters went through a physical today and must pass before being cleared for play. He did not have any known injuries at the time of the trade. Waiters averaged 10.5 points and 2.2 assists in 33 games with the Cavaliers.
In the wake of their surprising decision to add
"I am not saying he's [James Harden's] replacement because we're far past that. But he can play, he can come off the bench for us and score and make plays. He is a really good player. A lot of people take him for granted, I think."
Evoking Harden's name is going to raise eyebrows, even if Durant made sure to avoid actually comparing the two. The Thunder have really missed Harden's playmaking and scoring off the bench, and Waiters will be just the latest in a long line of players who will attempt to replace that. However, Fantasy owners really shouldn't be expecting too much from Waiters -- beyond their positions and their lofty draft status, there just aren't many similarities.
Finding room to succeed next to Durant and Russell Westbrook is always going to be difficult, who would both rank in the top-five in usage rate if they qualified this season. What made Harden an especially good fit was his ability to score heaps of points without needing a lot of possessions; he averaged 17.1 points per-36 minutes his first three seasons, despite posting a 20.4 usage rate and only 11.6 field-goal attempts.
Waiters has a 26.1 percent usage rate in 164 career games, and was all the way up to 24.1 this season, even on a star-laden Cavs team. We could assume playing around Westbrook and Durant might help him, by taking pressure off, but he was already posting a career-low 46.8 percent true shooting percentage this season, next to Kyrie Irving, LeBron James and Kevin Love. If he couldn't make that work, why would a move to OKC change that?
The Thunder will bring Waiters off the bench, but Yahoo.com reports he is expected to get the bulk of the minutes at shooting guard, while also seeing time as a point guard in second units. Fantasy owners can certainly add Waiters as a flier, but there's little in his history that suggests he can be a Harden-esque sixth man who makes a big impact on the box score.
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