Andre Roberson's misfortunes (knee) have opened up the door for Thunder teammate Dion Waiters.
Dion has moved into Andre's starting role until the defensive minded Roberson returns sometime after the All-Star break. You have to wonder if Andre will get his starting position back if Dion continues to prove it on both ends?
The former 4th pick in the draft (2012) gives Oklahoma City another scoring punch in the starting lineup and his defense isn't shabby. Sure he's not as lengthy as Andre but he's not afraid to stick on an opponent. Dion proved that when he made it rough on Knicks' Guard Arron Afflalo, the sharp shooter recently finished 6 out of 21 in the overtime loss to the Thunder. More proof? Waiters along with Kevin Durant made James Harden fight for every point last week at Chesapeake Energy Arena, which was another OKC victory.
Roberson left open in the corner doesn't sound too frightening, never has, but Dion open in the corner can't be ignored by the opposition. His days of taking ill-advised fade away jumpers are virtually gone under new Head Coach Billy Donovan. Dion has the ability to create his own shot.
Dion will be a restricted free agent this summer. Opportunity is knocking on the door for Dion at the moment to earn some more cash on down the line. The former Syracuse standout is starting on a title contending team, perhaps showing other teams that he has changed his shooting ways and can live up to his high draft status or show the Thunder they need to re-sign him.
Tough call coming up for Coach Donovan and his staff when Andre comes back from the knee injury.