Dion Waiters served his team-mandated one-game suspension on Wednesday, but the veteran guard won’t rejoin the Heat until Monday, according to Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. While Miami is scheduled to play road games against the Bucks on Saturday and Timberwolves on Sunday, Waiters will not accompany the club on that trip.
Waiters’ original one-game suspension was related to “conduct detrimental to the team,” according to the Heat. The 27-year-old was said to be upset about his role leading up to the season and had a disagreement on the bench with head coach Erik Spoelstra during Miami’s final preseason game, per The Miami Herald.
The club hasn’t offered any specific details on why Waiters will remain away from the team through the weekend. According to Winderman, the Heat guard will work on his conditioning in the interim.
It’s possible that Waiters will rejoin the Heat in advance of Tuesday’s game vs. the Hawks and things will move forward without incident from there, but this looks like a situation worth keeping an eye on — particularly if Waiters remains dissatisfied with coming off the bench. His trade value isn’t high right now, and – as Winderman wrote in a separate story – a buyout with two years left on his contract is unlikely, so it’s in both sides’ best interest to figure out how to make things work this season.
As Winderman observes, Waiters has a $1.2MM incentive available in his contract for appearing in at least 70 games this season. His suspension and his absence from the team this weekend will cost him three games, so he’ll have to play in 70 of the Heat’s final 79 contests to earn that bonus.