Dion Waiters continues to hang out there in free agency, like the piece of fruit with just enough bruises to not make it worth plucking off the tree.

The Oklahoma City Thunder wing saw his qualifying offer rescinded by Oklahoma City, making him an unrestricted free agent and signaling OKC was no longer in need of his services after the addition of Victor Oladipo and the departure of Kevin Durant. Now ESPN reports that the Nets met with Waiters face-to-face in Vegas and still elected not to sign him:

The Nets have been willing to gamble on young talent, making offer sheets for Tyler Johnson and Allen Crabbe in restricted free agency.

Waiters may have been hurt most by Durant's departure. Even with the addition of Oladipo, if Durant had returned there would be a sense of wanting to keep the core that topped the Spurs and challenged the Warriors together. Without Durant, retaining Waiters on a big-money, long-term deal was no longer the best move, despite OKC having given up a first-round pick in exchange for him.

Dion Waiters in Sacramento
Dion Waiters is still available. USATSI

Waiters faced maturity and efficiency questions his entire career, but really seemed to put it together last season. His defense and playmaking took an uptick, and he looked very much at home as the third or fourth weapon on a contender for OKC. But most of those teams already have players in that position, and after restricted free agency stunted the market for him, there just aren't many teams that have cap space left to burn for him.

Teams like Denver already have logjams at the wing, and the Sixers have been careful about adding veterans and not overspending.

The Nets make a lot of sense, but if they've already passed on Waiters and didn't jump when he became unrestricted, you wonder if they've already mentally moved on. Most teams are shuttering their offices for the summer vacations. It's not clear exactly how long it will take Waiters to find a new home after what looked like such a phenomenal end to his contract year.