When the Miami Heat begin the regular season against the Memphis Grizzlies on Oct. 23, it will be without guard Dion Waiters, who has been suspended for that game due to what Heat team president Pat Riley has termed “a number of unacceptable incidents.”
It seems like the Heat’s discontent with Waiters goes back a little further than that.
According to Heavy.com, the team has been looking to get rid of the guard since last season.
“They’ve been trying to trade him since last Christmas,” one GM told Heavy.com. “No one was trying to take him on then. After this kind of thing, it would be really hard to take him on now. He has had this kind of junk attached to him just about his whole career.”
In recent seasons, Waiters has missed many games due to injuries, but he reportedly put in tons of work this offseason, which included losing over 20 pounds.
He’s always been a valuable role player but has also had a reputation as a toxic locker room presence.
As a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2013-14 season, Waiters allegedly got into a fight with Kyrie Irving, which resulted in the now-Brooklyn Net sustaining a black eye and broken nose. Waiters denied his role in the incident.
In 44 games with the Heat in the 2018-19 season, Waiters put up 12.0 points per game while shooting 37.7 percent from 3-point range.