Dion Waiters is now an unrestricted free agent, as the Oklahoma City Thunder have rescinded his qualifying offer, according to The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski. The free-agent market has largely dried up, so Waiters, 23, is one of the best players available.
As an unrestricted free agent, Waiters becomes a much more intriguing target to teams -- especially Brooklyn and Philadelphia.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) July 19, 2016
According to The Vertical, the Thunder could still re-sign Waiters, but they wanted cap space. Perhaps they have not given up on their plan to convince Russell Westbrook to renegotiate and extend his contract like the Houston Rockets did with James Harden. If they pull that off, then their offseason will be somewhat salvaged after losing superstar Kevin Durant.
When Oklahoma City acquired guard Victor Oladipo, it immediately seemed less likely that Waiters would return. Waiters was extremely important to OKC's playoff success, though, and showed signs of becoming a more reliable two-way player. If the Thunder are not willing to make an investment in him, it would make sense for a rebuilding team like the Brooklyn Nets or Philadelphia 76ers to make him a substantial offer.
It will be a bit of a shame if Waiters does go elsewhere. It finally seemed like he had settled into his role with Oklahoma City last season. Taking him out of that situation might not be best for him, and going to a losing team would be quite an adjustment.