Since the Heat’s season ended in April, Dion Waiters has expressed multiple times that he wants to stay in Miami, despite the fact that he’s opting out of his contract. On Sunday, Waiters went a step further, indicating on WSVN’s 7 Sports Xtra that he’d be open to the idea of accepting something of a hometown discount with the Heat, as Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel details.
“It depends,” Waiters said. “Yeah, I would, though. But, like I said, it depends, just being the right thing, at the right time. It’s just got to be right. It’s got to be equal.”
Since joining the Heat last year, and especially in recent weeks, Waiters has spoken about the idea of buying into the team’s culture, suggesting last month that once you buy into what the Heat are preaching, you start to see the results.
That mindset helped buoy Waiters to an impressive comeback season in 2016/17. A year after setting a career low in PPG (9.8) with Oklahoma City, Waiters averaged 15.8 PPG with career highs in APG (4.3) and 3PT% (.395) for the Heat. After earning about $3MM this past season, Waiters should be in line for a sizable raise.
With Chris Bosh‘s salary off their books, the Heat should have a nice chunk of cap room available this summer. Miami wants to re-sign both Waiters and fellow free agent James Johnson, who has also said he’s willing to consider taking a modest discount to stay with the Heat. If the club can lock up both players to slightly below-market deals, there could still be room to make another addition.