Dion Waiters digs on Cavaliers

Dion Waiters, to put it lightly, is very happy with his new surroundings after being acquired by the Oklahoma City Thunder in a three-team trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

And it all starts on the court.

"Listen," he told the Oklahoman of his new teammates, "they give me the ball. Like, I touch the ball. Like, I actually, like, you know, touch the ball.

"Listen, they give me the ball. Like, I touch the ball. Like, I actually, like, you know, touch the ball."
Dion Waiters, on the difference between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Cleveland Cavaliers, his former team

"I'm able to feel the game out, knowing when to take the shot, when not to. Like I said, we got a great group of guys on this team who's very unselfish and they want you to be successful. So I think I came into a great situation."

The Thunder acquired Waiters from the Cavaliers in a deal that also involved the New York Knicks on Jan. 6. As part of the deal, which also involved draft picks, the Cavs got J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert, and three players with nonguaranteed contracts -- Alex Kirk and Lou Amundson from the Cavs and Lance Thomas from the Thunder -- were sent to the Knicks.

Through six games since joining the Thunder, Waiters has averaged 12.5 points, 1.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.7 steals in 27.3 minutes. He's played as few as 21 minutes and as many as 37 minutes, showing that the Thunder are willing to use Waiters as little or as much as needed.

"They brought me in since day one with love," Waiters told the Oklahoman before Tuesday's 94-86 victory against the Miami Heat. "It seems like I've been here forever. It seems like I've been playing with them forever, too. When I came here, we clicked right away."

And he makes no bones about the difference from Cleveland, where he averaged 10.5 points in 23.8 minutes per game.

"I've always been confident in myself knowing what I can do. It's about having the opportunity to go out there and be able to just play my game and have fun and enjoy it," Waiters told the Oklahoman. "And that's what I'm doing. I'm having fun. I'm enjoying the fresh start. It's a great organization. Great coaches. I couldn't ask for a better situation than what I'm in."

The Thunder are 4-2 since acquiring Waiters and, after falling nine games below the .500 mark earlier this season, have improved to 21-20 heading into Wednesday's game against the Washington Wizards.

"I think the No. 1 reason why he's feeling comfortable is his teammates," Thunder coach Scott Brooks told the Oklahoman. "They have a good group [with the] support that he has.

"Every time that we've brought in a guy, whether it's a guy that's made a team off of free agency in training camp, or a guy traded in mid-season, all of our guys have done a great job of opening up their arms and supporting them and wrapping them around them and making them feel comfortable. And I think that's the biggest reason."