As Winderman explains, the NBPA’s appeal isn’t intended to reduce Waiters’ current six-game suspension or get him on the court any faster. The union’s goal is to recoup some or all of the salary the Heat guard has lost as a result of the ban.
The NBPA filed similar appeals following Waiters’ one-game and 10-game suspensions earlier this season, as we relayed last month. In total, the three suspensions have sidelined Waiters for 17 games and have reduced his 2019/20 salary by $1.419MM. Additionally, because he won’t appear in at least 70 games, Waiters has missed out on a $1.2MM bonus, though that lost bonus hasn’t been appealed by the players’ union, per Winderman.
The appeals, which could be heard individually or concurrently, are unlikely to happen anytime in the near future, according to Winderman, who notes that the NBPA hasn’t asked to expedite the appeals. They’ll likely happen a few months from now, and may result in Waiters’ camp and the Heat reaching a settlement brokered by the union, Winderman writes.
Although the appeals will determine how much salary Waiters ultimately loses, they’ll have no impact on the Heat’s salary cap or tax situation, since all three suspensions have been issued by the team rather than the league.
Waiters’ current six-game ban runs through December 23, so he’ll be eligible to return on December 27 when the Heat host the Pacers. Still, considering the veteran guard has yet to play this season and the club is reportedly exploring options to get rid of him, it seems increasingly unlikely that he’ll see any action for Miami this season.