Dion Waiters makes it clear he wants to start for Heat
Dion Waiters has started out the preseason coming off the bench in both games, but the Miami Heat shooting guard does not intend to be there for the entirety of the upcoming 2019-20 season.
The athletic slasher put up a game-best 19 points in 16 minutes on Wednesday against the Charlotte Hornets, making it clear he has no desire to play as a reserve and believing the bench role is head coach Erik Spoelstra’s way of pushing him into condition:
“I know the reason why I’m coming off the bench. That’s between us,” said Waiters, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
His coach did not seem to expect anything more from Waiters:
“We want to get him in Miami Heat shape and he’s getting there,” Spoelstra said. “But he’s getting his legs under him and he can give us that kind of boost when his body’s feeling right.”
Waiters came off the bench despite Spoelstra choosing to sit Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic, instead giving rookie Tyler Herro the nod after he dropped 18 points in his preseason debut against the San Antonio Spurs earlier in the week.
While the 6-foot-4 guard could be a fit alongside Dragic and Butler once the season starts, he still has a lot to prove with his consistency and his ability to stay healthy following two injury-riddled seasons in South Beach.
There’s no indication of Spoelstra having his mind made up at this point, but neither is there an expectation that his lineup will change once the season starts.