It is also widely assumed that the Heat are working — challenging as it is — to find a new home for the disgruntled Dion Waiters and maybe James Johnson (whom Miami may use to try to acquire Iguodala).
According to multiple sources, the Heat would prefer to move on from Waiters but there aren’t appealing options to do so. For example, it would take an agreement between Waiters and the Heat to keep him away from the team, while still being paid and no such agreement is in place.
With no team interested in trading for Waiters, it serves Miami’s best interests to keep Waiters on the books because his salary could be used as filler in a trade.
A source briefed on the situation said the Heat has been open to a buyout of the final year-and-a-half of his contract, but Waiters at this point has been disinclined to accept anything less than $12.1 million he’s owed this year and the $12.7 million he’s due to make next season.
There is no resolution in sight when it comes to the future of Waiters with the Miami Heat. "The Waiters contract is as close to untradable that I have ever seen in the NBA," one league executive told ESPN in Las Vegas. Waiters, who has yet to play in 2019-20 and is owed more than $12 million in 2020-21, has been fined three times this season for a total of $1.4 million.
One thing that every team agreed upon: Waiters' career is likely over, barring an incredibly unlikely turnaround. That is why Waiters' entertaining a buyout should be off the table. Even if he signed a contract next season, it would be for a minimum, non-guaranteed $2.6 million salary, making it difficult for him to recoup whatever he would give up in buyout talks.
Expect Waiters to be on the roster through the deadline, with Miami evaluating its options in the offseason. Waiters is owed more than $25 million the next two seasons, and Miami is not going to get an expiring contract for him without attaching a first-round pick. Even if the Heat had a first-rounder to trade, they shouldn't do that.
“One person in touch with the Heat said no palatable trade scenario had emerged for Waiters as of early this week,” Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald wrote. “And it’s not worth Miami packaging an asset with Waiters to receive a lesser player in return. Waiters is due $25 million combined over the next two seasons.”
Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters was visibly upset after Friday’s preseason finale against the Houston Rockets. It had almost nothing to do with the Heat’s 144-133 loss at home. Nor was Waiters miffed about only getting four shot attempts. The frustration was solely a matter of playing time. After the game, he was among the first dressed in the locker room. With his head down and a stern facial expression, he made his way out the side door and did not say a word to anyone.
The next consideration, naturally, is what will become of Waiters, who usually has the common decency to wait until midseason or so to cause a ruckus within the Heat locker room. A check with multiple front-office executives to gauge trade interest in Waiters didn’t bode well for Miami. It would appear he’s not going anywhere. “They’ve been trying to trade him since last Christmas,” one GM told Heavy.com. “No one was trying to take him on then. After this kind of thing, it would be really hard to take him on now. He has had this kind of junk attached to him just about his whole career.”
"So they finally relented on Josh Richardson, they were giving them Josh Richardson. Then Dion Waiters was going to be the cap filler, and then a protected first-round pick. The medicals were exchanged, which, really, generally in the NBA means this is a done deal. And then, Thibs called back and wanted more picks. And Pat Riley literally -- I was told -- called him a motherbleeper and hung up the phone." A NBA source familiar with the Heat's dealings with the Timberwolves said Riley insists he did not offer such a reaction.
Five Reasons Sports Network: Chasing more right now, but we can report this with multiple league sources as a network: The Heat have been aggressively trying to move Dion Waiters, even if it's not directly for Jimmy Butler. Similar to what @LeBatardShow said this morning. Different sources, I suspect.
The Heat has told teams this offseason that Hassan Whiteside, Tyler Johnson and Dion Waiters are available, according to two opposing front office executives who have spoken to the Heat. But the Heat knows a different combination of more attractive players will be needed to pry away Butler, who averaged 22.2 points per game for Minnesota last season.
August 11, 2022 | 7:20 pm EDT Update
There is a growing belief among rival teams that Durant knew when he issued that me-or-them ultimatum that Tsai had no intention of yielding to the request and firing Marks and Nash. One resultant theory that the Durant/Tsai meeting spawned is the idea KD has begun trying to manufacture as much behind-the-scenes discord as he can in hopes that it will lead the Nets to lower their asking price and trade him out of exasperation.
Appearing on The Scoop podcast with Darren Wolfson of SKOR North and 5 Eyewitness News, Glen Taylor said new Wolves president of basketball operations Tim Connelly had his eye on multiple impact trade targets, but Gobert was his “number one option.” The input of head coach Chris Finch, who expressed confidence in his ability to use Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns, was also a key factor in Minnesota’s decision to pull the trigger on the blockbuster deal. “What I did when Tim and Chris talked to me about this trade is to ask (Finch) is there a system that he knows how to utilize these players,” Taylor said. “And he was very confident that he did understand how to utilize their skill sets, being two big guys. We talked about a lot, so he convinced me that this is something that is going to take us to a winning situation, and gave us the go-ahead to make the trade.”
Asked if he’d like to see D’Angelo Russell sign an extension before the season begins, Taylor said it might benefit both sides to hold off and see how the 2022/23 season goes. “(Finch) believes that with the new lineup, and with Russell in that lineup, that he’ll have a much better year just because of the way we’re going to play,” Taylor said. “He says he thinks there’s a big upside for Russell with this group of (players). That’s to his advantage and to our advantage if it works out.”
The plan remains for Taylor to hand over control of the franchise to incoming owners Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez in a little over a year. The Wolves’ longtime owner said he’s not having any regrets about giving up control of the team as it becomes a more legitimate contender. “No, I don’t have any second thoughts. I think it’s the right thing to do,” Taylor said. “We’ve left some options open that I’ll continue to be involved if I want to be involved, and that suits me just fine.”
“My favorite NBA player to watch besides Steph is Luka,” Green said on the latest edition of his eponymous podcast. “Luka different. I mean, the way he sees the floor, scores the basketball, gets to his spot, his pace. It’s Luka for sure.”
August 11, 2022 | 5:46 pm EDT Update
The Cleveland Cavaliers will be gathering in Los Angeles for voluntary, player-led pre-training camp workouts next week, sources tell cleveland.com. All-Star point guard Darius Garland and Rookie of the Year runner-up Evan Mobley — two guys who spend time on the West Coast during the offseason — are helping organize the workouts.