In order to maximize their salary-cap flexibility in the offseason, the Heat turned to bonuses with Dion Waiters and Olynyk when it came to their playing time. With Waiters, the bonus was $1.1 million for appearing in at least 70 games. That possibility erased with Waiters’ Jan. 23 ankle surgery, ending his season after 30 appearances.
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The Miami HEAT announced today that guard Dion Waiters underwent successful surgery yesterday to repair instability in the left ankle. A preexisting navicular bone fracture was also repaired.
Dion Waiters spent Sunday night celebrating his hometown Philadelphia Eagles’ NFC championship … and preparing for ankle surgery. Waiters shared the news on his Instagram account. “I get surgery tomorrow,” Waiters wrote Sunday night under a photo of someone else dressed in Eagles gear. “This game help calm my nerves. BigTime!!!!”
Waiters, 26, sprained the ankle for the second time in nine months on Dec. 22 and has missed the past nine games. Reports have circulated most of the week that Waiters would opt for the surgery and the announcement comes as no surprise. Waiters reportedly sought several opinions on his ankle. The injury will cost Waiters a $1.1 million bonus for this season, that was tied into the four-year, $52 million deal he signed with the Heat in July. For the bonus to kick in, Waiters would have had to have played at least 70 of Miami’s 82 games. That would have raised his salary this season to $12.1 million. Now, he will make $11 million.
The Miami HEAT announced today that Dion Waiters will undergo left ankle surgery at a time to be determined in the near future. We are confident this surgery will resolve all of the issues with the ankle. This process will not just repair the ankle, but also kick-start a whole new reboot for Dion. A full recovery is expected.
Waiters has been seeking outside opinions on the ankle in Los Angeles, with, according to a Sun Sentinel source, the Heat huddling Thursday to discuss the approach going forward.
Albert Nahmad: Dion Waiters chose not to undergo left ankle surgery last March, which he said would’ve sidelined him for 8-10 months – including free agency, during which he signed for 4 years, $47M (plus $5M in potential bonuses) – then reported to training camp complaining of continued pain.
Albert Nahmad: Dion Waiters, who has an $11.0M base salary, would lose out on his $1.1M bonus for playing in 70+ games with the surgery. His base salary and bonus will increase to $11.6M and $1.2M, respectively, in 2018-19.
Albert Nahmad: The Heat would be eligible to apply for a $5.5M disabled player exception for Dion Waiters until January 15, which, if granted, would need to be used by March 10.
Shams Charania: Sources: Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters is expected to undergo season-ending surgery on his injured left ankle. Waiters has received second opinions in Los Angeles to finalize decision, league sources said.
Ira Winderman: Source says that Dion Waiters is in final deliberations about ankle surgery. Nothing final at this moment about the where and the when.
Heat guard Dion Waiters has been giving serious consideration to undergoing ankle surgery, a procedure which would end his season, according to an associate. A decision could come at any time, with continued rest and treatment as the other option being considered. The Heat has not put pressure on Waiters to make a decision, or pressured him to make one decision over the other. Waiters, who has sought multiple medical opinions, has missed eight consecutive games with a sprained left ankle.
Dion Waiters missed the final 13 games of last season with a sprain to the same ankle but decided to bypass offseason surgery because he was a free agent at the time. He has said that ankle surgery would sideline him 8 to 10 months. Waiters, in July, signed a four-year, $52 million contract that is paying him $12.1 million this season, with a jump to $12.7 million next season. The contract awards Waiters a $1.1 million bonus this season if he plays in 70 games — a clause he appears unlikely to meet.
Barry Jackson: Among options Dion Waiters has been considering, according to an associate: Surgery on his ankle that would end his season. Decision forthcoming. Has received multiple medical opinions.
Ira Winderman: Have been told the timetable with Dion Waiters remains as expressed last week, exploring all options and then to come to decision to best serve him and team in best timely fashion (which, yes, could be surgery and ready for next season).
Ira Winderman: Neither Justise Winslow nor Dion Waiters are traveling with the Heat on this two-game trip to Toronto and Indiana. After that the Heat next play at home Sunday Vs. Bucks.
Bobby Marks: As Dion Waiters sits out a seventh consecutive game today with a sprained left ankle, the Heat guard is in danger of missing out on a $1.1M bonus. Having played 30 games, Waiters must play in 40 of the remaining 43 games.
Tim Reynolds: Sources: Heat guard Dion Waiters is pursuing a second opinion on his injured ankle. No change in his status – at this point.
Manny Navarro: Asked Spoelstra during today’s presser if #Heat has had discussions about Dion Waiters potentially having ankle surgery now to get ready for next season. “We’re not even at that point right now. I know he’s not playing tonight and doing all his rehab and rest.”
Ankle surgery is back on the table for Heat starting shooting guard Dion Waiters. After spraining his troublesome left ankle on a drive to the basket during Friday’s win over the Mavericks, Waiters said he will consider surgery this offseason. “At this point, you got to see what’s best,” Waiters said before Tuesday’s game against the Magic when asked if he will consider surgery to repair his left ankle at the end of the season. “But I won’t write it off, hell no. Especially if I’m going to keep going through the same thing, even with like little tweaks and things like that. When the season is over, after the playoffs and things like that, I’ll sit down with my family, my agent and we’re going to take care of it.”
Manny Navarro: Dion Waiters is out. Goran Dragic warming up with the intention to play. James Johnson is playing. #Heat health updates.
Manny Navarro: MRI and x-rays were negative on Dion Waiters’ ankle. It’s classified as a sprained left ankle, Spo says. Fact James Johnson is back tonight is huge considering Dion’s loss. If Dragic plays, #Heat will have 3 regular starters total.
Anthony Chiang: Dion Waiters heads to the locker room after rolling his ankle.
Barry Jackson: Heat says Waiters (left ankle) will not return tonight.
Through his first five games he’s shot 33.3 percent and averaged 4.4 points after halftime. Before the break, he’s shot 48.6 percent and averaged 8.8 points. “I’ve always got that – like at the beginning of the game – I’ve always got that explosive first step,” Waiters said. “Even on one leg I’ve got that explosive first step. I’ve just got it. That ain’t really [the issue].” But “then,” he admits softly, “I’ll feel it.” The ankle tightens up. Usually he’ll tell trainor Jay Sabol when the pain becomes unbearable. But for the most part, Waiters tries to put mind over matter.
Spoelstra again downplayed, but did not dismiss, the impact of the ankle issue. “He wouldn’t want me to make that excuse for him, and he won’t make that excuse,” Spoelstra said. “You have to adjust in this league. It’s not the first time that he has dealt with something. And just like the majority of the guys in the league, as the season goes on, you’re not feeling 100 percent and you’ve got to find different ways to get back to winning. You could see in some games it looks like he has the step and in some games he doesn’t. But his treatment is going really well. He’s getting better. He’s getting healthier. The pain and all that is clearing up. So he just has to stick with the process.”
Anthony Chiang: Dion Waiters (ankle) will play tonight.
Anthony Chiang: Dion Waiters (ankle) and Okaro White (shoulder) not listed on Heat injury report for Saturday’s game. That’s a good sign.
The same left ankle that sidelined him for the final 13 games last season, when the Heat came up just short of a playoff berth. The same ankle that he said still was tender when he reported to training camp last month. This time, Waiters found himself back in the locker room getting re-taped during the third quarter of Wednesday night’s 116-109 season-opening loss to the Orlando Magic at the Amway Center. “I didn’t sprain anything until I got here, three times,” Waiters said of Wednesday’s game, “It’s weird. Just guarding and trying to get through a screen, a guy kicked my foot and tweaked it a little bit. I’m not going to make it a big thing right now.”
Manny Navarro: #Heat are getting tired of the questions regarding Dion Waiters ankle. Spoelstra today was direct: “He’s good to go. We have no other comments than that. He’s doing a lot of treatment. He’s practicing. And he’s feeling much better.”
Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Dion Waiters and Justise Winslow looked good and showed no ill effects from their season-ending injuries last season in their first full practices back with the team Tuesday morning at Florida Atlantic University. “[Winslow has] been scrimmaging for a while. It was important for him to get those live reps. You would never be able to tell by his aggressiveness that he brought to this practice that he was coming off any kind of injury anywhere on his body. People felt his presence.”
Waiters, who signed a four-year, $52 million deal this summer, revealed at Heat Media Day Monday he still feels discomfort in his left ankle, which he badly sprained and cost him the final 13 games of the regular season. “It’s aching a little bit. But if I take a little Tylenol, I’ll be alright,” Waiters said Tuesday. “It’s going to be a process. But we know what we got to do, so it’s manageable. We just got to make sure we keep our eye on it and just keep getting treatment.”
What did Goran Dragic think of his backcourt mate on Waiters’ first official day back? “He looks amazing to me,” Dragic said. “His ability to break down people and explode, he always had that. I didn’t even see that maybe he’s feeling the ankle a little bit. You watch him, he’s the old Dion.”
Manny Navarro: Waiters said he’s no longer walking with a limp: “It’s getting better. It’s still a little swollen. A little pain in there, keep icing it.”
Ira Winderman: Waiters, “The timing of the injury was just bad timing. It’s not going to be healed until I rest it completely.”
Manny Navarro: Dion Waiters asked if he’ll be back for playoffs: “Hell yeah.” #Heat
Anthony Chiang: Dion Waiters told Erik Spoelstra that he’s playing tonight. Spoelstra: “You think I listen to him?” Waiters won’t play vs. Cavs.
Ira Winderman: Dion Waiters has not rejoined the team.
Manny Navarro: Dion Waiters is out of his boot, doing conditioning, but still not ready to practice Spo says #Heat
There is still no timetable for Dion Waiters’ return, but the Heat are encouraged by the progress he’s making in Miami. Waiters did not travel with the team on it’s current three-game road trip, as he’s still recovering from a sprained left ankle he suffered on March 17 against the Timberwolves. Coach Erik Spoelstra said Waiters will miss the Heat’s final two games of the trip — Tuesday against the Pistons and Wednesday against the Knicks — as he continues to rehab the injury in Miami.
Coach Erik Spoelstra said Tuesday that Waiters has had an MRI, with those results coming back negative. Spoelstra declined to specify the degree of Waiters’ sprain, with Waiters not on this three-game trip, also to miss Wednesday’s game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
Ira Winderman: Spoelstra confirms an MRI on Waiters, which came back negative. He will miss these next two games.
According to a source, Waiters’ ankle is progressing in the right direction but there’s still no timetable for his return. Waiters wanted an MRI if the ankle wasn’t progressing, but it’s improving so no MRI is currently scheduled. “He’s feeling better,” coach Erik Spoelstra said Thursday when asked about Waiters’ ankle. “Some of the swelling is starting to come down. But there still is no timetable.”
Barry Jackson: Whiteside said sprained ankle is “not crazy like Dion’s. More just annoying”… too early to tell on Sunday at Boston.
Ira Winderman: Waiters off crutches but in walking boot.
Anthony Chiang: Source tells me Dion Waiters’ ankle is progressing. Dion wanted MRI if ankle wasn’t progressing, but it’s getting better so no MRI scheduled
The Heat’s starting shooting guard, who was injured late in the first half of last Friday’s win over Minnesota when he landed awkwardly on the foot of T’Wolves forward Gorgui Dieng, said he’s been wearing low top sneakers for years and believes the injury would have happened to him regardless of his footwear. “That’s all I’ve been wearing my whole career,” said Waiters, who wears the low-top Kobe A.D. model by Nike. “It’s hard to adjust. Even if you go back to college, I wore low tops. I like low tops. Even though I play the way I play and attack the rim and things like that, these type of things happen if you have high tops on. It happens.”
Dragic said he just feels more comfortable in low tops. “Each player is different,” he said. “I wear in my career high tops, mid tops, low tops but the most comfortable that I feel is in low tops. I feel that I can move better. I can explode and everything. It’s maybe just in my head.” As for Waiters, Spoelstra said the swelling remains. “That will be normal,” he said. “Even when he came back and played from the last one he had swelling for a couple of weeks.”
“I haven’t felt pain like this in so long,” said Waiters, who spoke to reporters in the Heat locker room prior to Sunday’s game against the Trail Blazers while standing on crutches. “The last time I had one of these was the last time I broke my ankle in high school. Even when I did [sprained my ankle] in Minnesota it was a week and a couple days. I wasn’t 100 percent when I came back, but it wasn’t as severe as this one was.”
Waiters said he hasn’t been able to put any weight on the ankle whatsoever and the swelling is bad enough that he thinks he’s going to request an MRI once he’s finally able to have one. He said he’s been working around the clock with Heat trainers to get the swelling down. “If I don’t like what’s going on or it’s not improving I’m going to get [an MRI],” said Waiters, who has a $3 million player option for next season he’s almost sure not to exercise because he could command much more money in the open market.
Ira Winderman: Dion Waiters officially out tonight.
The Heat said X-rays on Waiters’ ankle were negative and coach Erik Spoelstra said there’s no timeline yet for when the team’s third-leading scorer and starting shooting guard will return. When Waiters sprained the same ankle last month in a win at Minnesota he missed three games. “I was hanging out with him a little bit in the training room,” Spoelstra said. “It’s a sprained ankle, same left ankle that he sprained in Minnesota. So I don’t know what his problem is with Minnesota, but he sprained it similar to the way he did last time. There’s no timeline on it. There’s no way to really tell until we get to the next day.”
Manny Navarro: #Heat say X-rays on Dion Waiters left ankle came back negative. The team is calling it a sprain
Ira Winderman: Heat saying a sprain: INJURY UPDATE: D. Waiters (left ankle sprain) had x-rays taken & results returned negative. He will not return.
Barry Jackson: Heat Announces Waiters back and will start.
Anthony Chiang: Dion Waiters warming up with the intention to play, per Spo.
Manny Navarro: Dion Waiters said he will be ready to play Monday
Manny Navarro: Dion Waiters (sprained left ankle) is out again tonight
Heat guard Dion Waiters will miss his second game tonight because of a sprained left ankle. Waiters, who was injured in Minnesota on Monday, has made progress the last two days, according to coach Erik Spoelstra, but he’s not ready to face Brooklyn
Charles F. Gardner: Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Dion Waiters will not play vs. Bucks tonight. Spoelstra would not name starter for his spot in pregame.
Waiters has missed 19 games since an MRI revealed he had suffered a torn muscle in his groin area, an injury he said occurred about 2 ½ week prior to the diagnosis. He has not gone through a full practice or accompanied the team on a road trip since. Today could be the first big step as Waiters is expected to be on the flight when Miami heads out for its season-long six-game road trip which starts Tuesday in Phoenix.
Coach Erik Spoelstra said he hopes Waiters is able to travel. “If I’m on the road, man, I’m playing,” Waiters said before Miami’s 107-98 loss to Detroit Sunday, a game in which the Heat had nine healthy players. “I’m trying to play. That’s my whole main focus, just trying to get back out there.”
Manny Navarro: #Heat announce MRI results reveal G Dion Waiters has suffered a Pectineus tear. Waiters will be re-evaluated in two weeks.
Waiters played through his groin injury for four games before the Heat decided to give him time to recover to avoid it getting even worse. He missed his first game of the season Monday against the Celtics. “I didn’t decide anything. That’s what the staff thought was best for me,” Waiters said after Monday’s game of taking time off. “I’ve been playing with it. I guess they didn’t want it to get any worse. “It’s very disappointing. I hate to miss games. You can see I don’t do good missing games. It pisses me off. But I know it’s best for me.”
Anthony Chiang: Heat announce Dion Waiters & Justise Winslow will not travel with the team on it’s three-game trip and will stay in Miami for treatment.
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March 24, 2018 | 5:26 am EDT Update
Think about it. It’s fair to wonder if the Jazz even wanted to win. Put yourself in Dennis Lindsey’s shoes. The Jazz GM has a solid team, a frontline center and an exciting rookie to build around. But he needs another star. The top of the draft looks chock full of them. So maybe, with your team stinking up the joint in January, you sit Gobert a few more weeks and join the race to the bottom. Earlier this week, I asked Jazz coach Quin Snyder if he ever had those conversations. “Never,” Snyder said. “That’s just not how we do things. There was never any kind of suggestion of that. In the larger picture, we’re finding out who we are. This experience right now, having to compete for a spot, there is value in that. Things might happen — you can’t take anything for granted. The result ultimately isn’t the only reflection of where you are. The goal for me is to continue to improve. Not X wins, or how many in a row, but how can we keep getting better. It’s how we started the beginning of the year. It’s how we are now. We aren’t overthinking it.”
“He pays attention to every detail,” Mitchell told Yahoo Sports. “Every little thing. Even at shootaround, if we’re walking through a play, if you’re standing in the wrong spot, he’ll yell at you, he’ll let you know so you are always locked in. That plays a part in development. When you are locked in all the time, you form habits.”
Tom Orsborn: Manu on winning six straight: “Unexpected to tell you the truth. Not that we aren’t optimistic,. But we were a little demoralized, a little down…But we can’t be satisfied. We have to go on the road and keep improving.”
“One thing when you’ve got a bunch of young guys is they don’t understand what it takes to survive in this league,” Bickerstaff said. “If you want to make it there’s a matter of bounce-back, a matter of pride, a matter of mental toughness that you have to show on every given night and every opportunity you get. What happened tonight… there’s no defending the way we played.
Bickerstaff nor Gasol were in the locker room when it opened for media after the game. Perhaps that was a good thing because several Grizzlies players didn’t appear to take the loss hard given the amount of laughter and joking between them.
Curry was not made available to reporters postgame. He wasn’t anywhere in sight once the locker room opened. After his first two ankle injuries, he talked to reporters. After all three that happened in-game this season, he was in the locker room, which gave an early sense of how he was feeling and moving, a peek at Stage 1 of the treatment. But this injury is different, it’s likely more severe and, for the first time during this recent rash of freak accidents to all their main guys, the return timeline is threatening to bleed into the postseason.