Dion Waiters and the Heat don’t appear to be on the same page right now. Waiters reportedly expressed displeasure with his role during the preseason, which prompted the team to suspend him for opening night, which in turn led to the veteran guard once again expressing his displeasure — this time on social media.
Given where things stand right now, it’s fair to wonder if the Heat will increase their efforts to move Waiters, who has been mentioned in multiple trade rumors over the last year. However, as Sean Deveney of Heavy.com writes, Waiters didn’t have much trade value before this week, and his suspension won’t exactly improve his stock.
“They’ve been trying to trade him since last Christmas,” one general manager said of the Heat guard. “No one was trying to take him on then. After this kind of thing, it would be really hard to take him on now. He has had this kind of junk attached to him just about his whole career.”
Waiters has a $12.1MM cap hit this season, with a $12.65MM guaranteed salary to follow in 2020/21, the final year of his deal. Moving that contract would likely cost the Heat at least one asset, and the team has already traded away many of its future draft picks.
Here’s more from around the Southeast:
- Caleb Martin and Jalen McDaniels, who signed new multiyear contracts with the Hornets this week, each received $500K partial guarantees for 2019/20, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. Charlotte used its mid-level exception to lock up Martin for three years and McDaniels for four. Neither contract features any guaranteed money beyond this season.
- Echoing comments he made in September, Hornets president of basketball operations Mitch Kupchak reiterated this week that his club doesn’t plan to be an active player in 2020 free agency. “I think we can build a culture here and get enough assets and have a promising enough future and really attract the kind of free agent you want to spend that kind of money on,” Kupchak said. “But I don’t think you can do it right now.” As Marks recently pointed out (via Twitter), Charlotte is one of just four teams that projects to have significant cap room next summer.
- Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington passes along health updates on a few injured Wizards players, noting that Troy Brown (calf), C.J. Miles (foot), and Moritz Wagner (back) were all able to practice on Monday. However, Brown and Miles seem unlikely to be ready for the team’s opener on Wednesday, as does Isaiah Thomas (thumb), per head coach Scott Brooks (Twitter link via Hughes).