Report: Dion Waiters will decline player option and become a free agent
Waiters suffered an injury just when the regular season home stretch arrived, virtually sealing the team’s fate. The gritty shooting guard became a fan favorite in South Beach, but is now forced to leave the fans in a bit of uncertainty after electing to decline his option and become a free agent, per ESPN’s Chris Haynes.
The former Syracuse standout has June 29 as his deadline, but all signs point to the free market. To be fair to him, the decision makes perfect sense. He would have been set to earn only $3.2 million next season, which is a far cry from his perceived value after a breakout 2016-2017 campaign.
In 46 games for the Heat, Waiters averaged 15.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 4.3 assists, but most importantly, he established himself as someone who could be relied on to thrive in clutch situations.
His health will be an issue, but it wouldn’t be a deal breaker as he do not have a spotty history with injuries. The Heat will be hard pressed to build on the momentum they gained this season and Dion Waiters stands as among those on top of Pat Riley’s task list this summer.