Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters could see his first action of the 2019-20 season in Tuesday’s night’s road game against the Toronto Raptors after Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra indicated that the veteran may be active for the game.
Spoelstra says Waiters “probably” will be active tonight.
— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) December 3, 2019
Waiters is coming off a 10-game suspension that was related to his ingestion of THC-laced gummies on the team plane last month.
Prior to that incident, he had been suspended for the Heat’s Oct. 22 opening contest for his on-court behavior during the team’s final preseason game. In between those two banishments, he had remained off the court due to insufficient conditioning.
Despite the absence of Waiters and the controversy surrounding him, the Heat have done well. Rookie Kendrick Nunn has seamlessly moved into the starting lineup and is currently averaging more than the 14.0 points per game that Waiters averaged during his three injury-plagued seasons with the Heat.
Waiters reportedly complained about a lack of playing time this preseason, but considering his behavior over the past few months, any comments from him are likely to be muted from here on out. That’s because he’s not only apologized for his most recent actions, but also because the team has grown weary of the drama that’s surrounded him.
The Heat have inquired with other teams about trading Waiters. However, the two remaining years on his contract are likely a key reason why the Heat have thus far been unsuccessful in those efforts.
Waiters turns 28 next week and is poised to begin his eighth year in the NBA after having been the fourth overall selection in the 2012 NBA Draft.
The Heat are his third team over that span of time, with his behavior from this point likely to be closely watched by other teams if they do end up considering a deal for him.