The entire season has been a distraction to Cavaliers shooting guard Dion Waiters.

Through all the rumors and innuendo, however, he has kept his chin up.

On Wednesday in the Cavs’ 95-84 loss to the Miami Heat, Waiters was the team’s best player. He matched his season high with 24 points and added six rebounds and three assists.

Earlier in the day, a story surfaced on ESPN.com that the Cavs have been shopping the 6-foot-4, 225-pound Waiters. The week before, he was a key participant in the team’s players-only meeting.

In the aftermath of that meeting, he didn’t accompany the team on a two-game road trip. The Cavs said he was “sick.” Since that meeting, he has been coming off the bench, even though he’s far and away the Cavs’ best shooting guard.

“You have to block that out,” he said after Wednesday’s game. “A lot of people don’t know what is going on or what they’re talking about. At the end of the day, they can assume or guess.

“They don’t know what went on in the locker room. I don’t pay that no mind.”

Before Wednesday’s game, he had to address trade rumors. He said he never went to Cavs general manager Chris Grant and asked to be traded.

“I’m out here and still smiling,” Waiters said. “There’s nothing I’d rather be doing than playing basketball. I’ll leave that all to the press. I’ll let them have fun with that.”

Cavs coach Mike Brown said after the Heat game that Waiters “played the right way.”

“I just have to continue to be aggressive, continue to keep attacking, even if I don’t get (the calls),” Waiters said. “(I’m) just trying to put the pressure on the ref. He’s going to call them or not.

“Most importantly, when I get to the line, I have to make my foul shots. They call that free money. You’ve got to take that free money.”

He was just 6 of 11 from the foul line on Wednesday.
Waiters received the wrath of his mother, who chided him for the missed opportunities at the line.

“I can’t even enjoy my Thanksgiving,” Waiters joked. “We were going back and forth playing around. ‘You didn’t make your foul shots.’ I’m glad my (infant) son can’t talk. He would have told me the same thing.”

He did make 7 of 14 from the field and 4 of 8 from the 3-point line.