Dion Waiters is in the midst of a 10-game suspension for the Heat and there have been conflicting reports on what the team wants to do with the shooting guard once he returns from his time away. Some writers have speculated that Waiters has played his last game with the club while Shams Charania indicated that the team is going to welcome him back.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald hears that the door is open for a return, but it would take a lot for Waiters to earn the trust of the franchise again. Waiters would need to do “absolutely everything right” for Miami to consider playing him again, Jackson writes, adding the caveat that an injury in the team’s backcourt may make the club soften its stance.
The Heat have yet to come to a consensus within the organization on how they are going to operate when Waiters does return. A buyout is possible but unlikely; an outright release is even more unlikely given Miami’s hard cap issues; a trade may take some hard selling to another NBA club.
Waiters’ suspension will end after the team’s Nov. 29 game vs. the Warriors. Here’s more on the Heat:
- Agent Rich Paul could be the X-factor in what happens with Waiters’ future. Paul represents the shooting guard, as Jackson adds in the same piece, and it’s possible that the agent will use his influence to challenge an unfavorable decision the Heat make.
- Coach Erik Spoelstra is thrilled with the team’s big man rotation, particularly Kelly Olynyk and Meyers Leonard, which give the Heat two bigs who can stretch the floor.“You want to be able to exploit opponent defenses, and we have two seven-footers who can stretch the floor,” Spoelstra said (via Jackson in the same piece). “It opens up the floor to attackers and for the pick-and-roll game. They each have a different way of getting to their strengths. Meyers is such a great screener, gets guys open. KO has some playmaking ability as well that can put unique pressure on a defense.”
- Kendrick Nunn has been getting feedback from Dwyane Wade on his game and the rookie is soaking up the information, as Jackson relays.“He told me he’s happy for me, to continue to develop and learn, be a sponge, just learn as much as I can,” Nunn said. “It was definitely meaningful coming from him, someone who has been in this organization and left their legacy here and created a culture, has been part of a culture and championship for years. It was definitely big coming from him. I’ve been watching him since I can remember. Years going back, he was one of my favorite players for sure.”