Dion Waiters will serve the second game of his 10-game suspension on Tuesday night as the Heat host the Pistons, and the team wasn’t saying much about his situation on Monday, as Khobi Price of The South Florida Sun Sentinel details. With Waiters ineligible to return until December 1, we’ll have to wait and see what the next step is for the franchise and the 27-year-old guard, who has yet to play a single minute this season.
Assuming Miami isn’t hit hard by the injury bug during the rest of November, it’s probably safe to assume the club’s rotation will be relatively set by the end of the month, meaning there won’t be minutes waiting for Waiters when his suspension ends, writes Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. If that’s the case, it will be interesting to see how Waiters responds, since his one-game suspension to open the season was related to expressing displeasure with his role.
According to Shams Charania of Stadium (video link), the Heat have made it clear to Waiters that they want him to earn a role, but he’ll have to get back in the team’s good graces before that happens. Even then, there’s no guarantee the former No. 4 overall pick would play regular minutes for Miami.
If there’s no path to a rotation spot for Waiters, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that the Heat could pay him to stay home. In fact, Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel estimates there’s a 50-50 chance that it plays out that way, suggesting that the over/under for Waiters appearances this season might have to be set at zero.
Even if Waiters remains away from the Heat though, there’s “zero chance” the team will release him at this point, Winderman writes in a separate Sun Sentinel article. Waiters still has two years remaining on his contract, with a guaranteed $12.65MM cap hit for the 2020/21 season, so unless he agrees to give up some of his guaranteed salary in a buyout agreement – which he has no incentive to do – it makes more sense to keep him around. In theory, he could be used as a salary-matching chip in a trade at some point.
For now though, the plan is ostensibly for Waiters to serve his time, rejoin the Heat, and work to earn minutes. In today’s poll, we want to know if that’s how you think this saga plays out. Will Waiters play another game for the Heat or not?
Vote in our poll, then head to the comment section below to share your thoughts!
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