One new report indicates that the Heat are expected to trade the eight-year veteran at some point.
Dave Hyde of the Sun Sentinel indicated that the Heat’s attitude toward Waiters has soured enough that it’s seemingly not a question of if, but when he’s traded away. He also points out the irony of how early-season injuries would have provided Waiters with the playing time he craved.
“So a trade is probably coming at some point where Waiters’ value is as an accounting measure to match up salaries of other players,” Hyde wrote. “Until then? Cleveland just told J.R. Smith to stay away last year. That sounds about right here.
“The shame Waiters would have a role if he’d kept things in order. Jimmy Butler missed the first few games of the season on paternity leave. Injuries have the Heat down to possibly nine players now.”
Waiters injured his ankle in March 2017, during the tail end of his first season with the Heat. That injury would continue to nag him until he underwent season-ending surgery the following January. An extended delay in getting back on the court, largely due to his poor conditioning, meant that he didn’t return until last January.
During last month’s preseason, Waiters’ complaints on the bench led the Heat to suspend him for the Oct. 23 opener. Over the ensuing eight games, he still remained off the court and received the 10-game suspension on Sunday after ingesting gummies laced with THC on the team plane.
That resulted in Waiters suffering a seizure which required medical attention, an event that marked the culmination of multiple headaches caused by the veteran. That final straw helps explain the likely eagerness of the Heat to rid themselves of Waiters.
Right now, the Heat are focused on improving on their 6-3 record, which leads the NBA’s Southeast Division. The first chance to do that will come on Tuesday night, when they host the Detroit Pistons.