Erik Spoelstra’s Response to Whether Dion Waiters Will Play in 2018

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The ongoing uncertainty regarding the status of Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters has now become a guessing game after the veteran’s timeline to return passed. Even Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra is unsure whether or not Waiters will be back on the court before the arrival of 2019.

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Waiters first suffered a left ankle injury in March 2017, which caused him to miss the final 13 games of the Heat’s 2016-17 season. After signing a new contract during the ensuing offseason, Waiters continued to struggle with pain from the ankle.

After attempting to play through that pain, Waiters finally ended up undergoing surgery in January of this year. The time frame given for his rehabilitation to be completed was anywhere from eight to 10 months, a span that’s since passed.

Waiters, who turns 27 on Dec. 10, was signed as a free agent by the Heat in July 2016 after having played with the Oklahoma City Thunder since January 2015. He was originally the fourth overall selection in the 2012 NBA Draft, taken by the Cleveland Cavaliers, who dealt him to Oklahoma City during his third season.

During his six seasons in the NBA, Waiters has averaged 13.3 points, 2.8 assists and 2.7 rebounds per game. In his 76 games as a member of the Heat, he’s started all but three of those contests and has averaged 15.2 points, 4.1 assists and 3.0 rebounds.
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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.