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Report: Teams Around NBA Agree Dion Waiters’ Career Likely Over
- Updated: December 23, 2019
Waiters is currently serving his third suspension this season.
ESPN’s NBA Insiders looked at how his dubious reputation, coupled with a burdensome contract, has made it nearly impossible for Waiters to continue his career either in Miami, or elsewhere in the NBA.
“Although every executive agreed that Waiters is untouchable when it comes to a trade, there was a split on whether he will be on the roster when the season ends,” reported the NBA Insiders. “The Heat could waive him now and remove the headache, but he will be owed $20.5 million, and the team wouldn’t receive any salary relief. The other option is to keep him on the roster but away from the team, hoping for a resolution this summer.
“One thing that every team agreed upon: Waiters’ career is likely over, barring an incredibly unlikely turnaround. That is why Waiters’ entertaining a buyout should be off the table. Even if he signed a contract next season, it would be for a minimum, non-guaranteed $2.6 million salary, making it difficult for him to recoup whatever he would give up in buyout talks.”
Waiters’ contract runs through the end of the 2020-21 season and is set to pay him over $12 million next season.
The Heat could conceivably waive him right now. However, if they did they would not only have to pay him $20.5 million, but also would not receive any benefit in the area of salary-cap relief.
As noted, some teams may express interest in a trade at a later date, but could very well ask the Heat for current or future assets to sweeten any deal. The Heat are presumably not willing to give up any assets just to get rid of the headache.
Waiters’ injury-plagued Heat career has seen him play in just 120 games over the previous three seasons. During that time, he’s averaged 14.0 points, 3.6 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game, numbers that could add depth to what’s become a potent Heat squad.
However, it’s clear that the Heat have little interest in bringing Waiters back, since it could damage the thriving chemistry established throughout this season.
That puts the 28-year-old veteran’s career on pause, a status that could very well end up being permanent.