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REPORT: Heat aren’t going to overpay Dion Waiters, Lakers could be a potential suitor

Dion Waiters

In his first season with the Miami Heat, Dion Waiters proved to be one of the top bargain deals from last year’s free-agent market.

The 25-year-old will become an unrestricted free agent once again after declining the $3 million player option for the 2017-18 season. According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Waiters could draw some significant interest from the Los Angeles Lakers that could push him out of the price range that the Heat are willing to pay for his services.

Though there had been some concern that Dion Waiters’ former agent, new Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka, might make a big offer for Waiters this summer, Lakers executive Magic Johnson – whose team has $23 million in cap space – told reporters: “I’m really looking to keep the cap space that we have and really try to play in next year’s free agent class, and not really this free agent class.”

The Heat wants to keep Waiters but doesn’t want to overpay.

The speculation involving the Lakers may seemingly just stem from the fact that Rob Pelinka is his former agent. In fact, Pelinka has a plethora of former clients in the league such as Chris Bosh, Andre Iguodala, Avery Bradley, and James Harden.

The Heat will have approximately $37 million in salary space at their disposal, which could grow to a larger number depending on how things end up with Bosh. That said, it has become quite evident that the organization doesn’t value Waiters enough to offer him a much more lucrative deal.

He is coming off a strong season where he averaged 15.8 points along with posting career highs with 39.5 percent from 3-point range and 4.3 assists. This includes scoring 20 or more points on 16 occasions and two 30-point performances. Despite being limited to just 46 games due to injury, Waiters played a huge part in helping Miami nearly secure a playoff spot following an incredibly slow start to the season.