Heat haven’t closed door on Dion Waiters playing for them again
The Miami Heat have not completely closed the door on a potential Dion Waiters return. The veteran shooting guard has faced three suspensions through the early stretch of the season, missing 17 games, but has recently expressed a desire to play, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Heat president Pat Riley met with guard Waiters and exiled forward James Johnson recently and addressed both, noting the team is hoping for a fresh start and wants both to reintegrate themselves as part of the team.
The Heat have not closed the door on Waiters’ return, despite having been sent away three different times for conduct detrimental to the team. Waiters is still planning to fight some of the team-imposed fines due to his suspension, having already missed out on a sizable bonus for games played.
Waiters has yet to play a regular-season game in 2019-20 after his tumultuous start to the season with his various suspensions and conflicts with the organization. This has made him nearly untradeable and and given him a reputation as damaged goods in the eyes of other organizations.
The only viable options are for the Heat to politely arrange a divorce and pay him to be away from the team or find a way to make bygones be bygones and work toward reincorporating Waiters. A trade would be difficult with the money he’s still owed, since his value around the NBA will undoubtedly be low. If the Heat want to unload him, they will have to give up significant assets to make another team take on his contract.
Waiters is not interested in a buyout for anything less than the full amount he’s owed, which leaves the Heat no option but to try to get him back in the fold, given he’s still owed $24.8 million for this and next season.