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Report: Dion Waiters Not Willing to Accept Penny Less Than He Is Owed for Potential Buyout
- Updated: December 24, 2019
Despite Dion Waiters’ reinstatement by the Miami Heat, a new report indicates that a buyout of his contract will be difficult since Waiters is reportedly refusing anything less than a full payment of his remaining money.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald noted that even though Waiters is again eligible to play for the Heat after a six-game suspension, the team is reluctant to keep him on the roster. One option for the team is a buyout of Waiters’ contract that runs through the 2020-21 season, but that’s an expensive proposition at the moment.
“A source briefed on the situation said the Heat has been open to a buyout of the final year-and-a-half of his contract, but Waiters at this point has been disinclined to accept anything less than $12.1 million he’s owed this year and the $12.7 million he’s due to make next season,” Jackson wrote.
Waiters signed his four-year contract during the summer of 2017 while in the midst of recovering from a season-ending ankle injury. That injury would continue to plague him until his 2017-18 season ended after just 30 games.
What was expected to be an eight to 10 month rehabilitation for Waiters instead took nearly a year, with the veteran’s conditioning habits coming into question. Reported efforts by the Heat to trade Waiters failed, with this season becoming a disaster when he was suspended on three different occasions.
Trade interest would likely pick up if the Heat were to add one of their young players to any deal, but that chance seems remote. In addition to not wanting to give up young talent, the Heat also want to avoid making any move that would negatively affect their cap space for 2021.
That puts the Heat in the potentially painful position of gritting their teeth and playing Waiters, which could have a negative effect on the team’s thriving chemistry. They can also agree to the buyout on Waiters’ terms, since negotiating appears to be pointless at the moment.
Neither of the scenarios are ones that the Heat want to deal with, but they may not have much of a choice. All they can do now is regret that they offered such a deal to Waiters in the first place.