NBA rumors: Dion Waiters considering retirement

Dion Waiters is now contemplating closing out his professional career. During a recent Instagram Live session, Waiters showed off his championship ring while talking about his future. “They think I’m playing. I been contemplating it though—about retiring,” Waiters said. “It’s the politics for me. Game-wise, we know what’s up. I just can’t do the politics, man. We ain’t going over that water. I’ll retire before that.”

More on Dion Waiters Free Agency

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed guard Dion Waiters, it was announced today by Vice President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Rob Pelinka.
"This could be Waiters' final opportunity here." NBA Insider @ShamsCharania reports on the Lakers' agreement to sign Dion Waiters.
Bobby Marks: Dion Waiters will earn $503,656 if he signs his contract on Friday. The Lakers will have a $375,385 cap hit on the shooting guard. Waiters was previously fined $1.4M from the Miami Heat and will recoup 36% of the money lost.
Dave McMenamin: The Los Angeles Lakers have signed guard Dion Waiters for the remainder of the season, league sources confirm to ESPN. Waiters had a strong workout this week and the team hopes he can be a consistent shot maker off the bench. The Athletic first reported the agreement.
"I'm told Waiters owned up to his mistakes and errors in Miami" NBA Insider @ShamsCharania reports on Lakers visits for Dion Waiters and J.R. Smith on Monday.
During the TNT telecast, Yahoo! Sports, Chris Haynes reported that the Los Angeles Lakers would be reaching out to Dion Waiters to gauge where he’s at physically and mentally. Well let the Lakers rumors begin. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst weighed in on his podcast. “I don’t know if Dion Waiters is an answer,” Windhorst said on The Hoop Collective podcast. “They’re going to give Dion a look. They had a meeting with him last week. I expect they will have a workout with him in the short-term and see what kind of condition he’s in. “They’re mulling it over and it’s because they need some sort of perimeter player who can score a little bit.” “Dion doesn’t just have to convince the Lakers,” Windhorst said. “He has to convince LeBron.”
TheLakersReview: Yahoo! Sports Chris B. Haynes was a guest on The Mason and Ireland Show today and here are a couple of the highlights regarding the Lakers: on the Lakers March 2 meeting with Dion Waiters: “... the reason why it’s scheduled for that day it gives the Lakers time to see who’s going to be able to be bought at that March 1st deadline gives them a chance to see the landscape of players out there and assess from there ... the Lakers are still looking for reinforcements ...”
Yahoo! Sports Chris B. Haynes on Dion: “I’ve heard he’s in pretty good shape. Ready to go.” Chris expounded that it will be more of “mindset” with Waiters to see if he’s willing to accept a determined role for a team.
NBA Central: The Lakers will give Dion Waiters a look, per @Brian Windhorst “They're going to give Dion a look. They had a meeting with him last week. I expect they will have a workout with him in the short-term and see what kind of condition he's in.”
In the near future, the Lakers are expected to have an exploratory conversation with Dion Waiters, league sources said. Lakers president and GM Rob Pelinka previously represented Waiters as a player agent.
Chip Crain: Waiters has been waived
Tim Reynolds: In other words, every penny he was owed, less the bonuses on the $47.6 million, four-year deal he had. Waiters also has made clear to people over the last few days that he intends to find a spot in the NBA.
Waiters initially balked at the Heat’s offer. In his heart, he knew he wanted to play in Miami after meeting with Riley and Erik Spoelstra. But after holding out for a bigger role in OKC, the Heat were offering even less money than the Thunder’s qualifying offer. Waiters wrestled with the decision in his head, knowing Miami offered a great opportunity.
“I cared about what everyone was going to say if I signed that deal,” Waiters says. “I knew I wanted to be there, but I cared about the hell what people would say. But then I thought, f*ck ‘em. They doubted me before. They thought I was a joke before. But now my back was against the wall. I had to man up. I knew people were talking crazy. Saying I had one foot in, one foot out. Saying I was close to being out of the league. That’s when I came up with that jawn—I’m going to bet on myself and then double down.”
The Lakers made a one-year, $17 million dollar offer to Waiters, a league source told Basketball Insiders. New York and Chicago verbally expressed interest, but neither team made an offer.
Now Waiters, coming off a career year despite injuries, is on the market again and a lot more expensive — and the Knicks have reached out again, according to a source. Waiters averaged 15.8 points on 39.5 percent shooting and dished out 4.3 assists per game for Miami. No longer are the Knicks and acting president Mills worried as to whether Waiters can conform to the triangle offense, with Phil Jackson ousted.
If the Knicks renounce the rights to Derrick Rose (who, ESPN reported, will meet with the Clippers on Wednesday), they will have $15 million of cap space. Miami, which is big in the hunt to retain Waiters, waived Chris Bosh on Tuesday under the special medical agreement with the NBA that opened up $25 million in cap room.
Ira Winderman: Was told in Orlando that Knicks very much in play for Waiters.
Ira Winderman: Dion Waiters' meeting with Lakers is curious after meeting with Heat. Could be that Waiters doesn't see Heat having (leftover?) money.
After meeting with Gordon Hayward in Miami on Saturday, the Heat on Sunday turned its attention to Dion Waiters. Heat president Pat Riley and coach Erik Spoelstra headed west to Los Angeles to meet with Waiters, according to a source close to the Heat free agent guard.
“I’m going to be honest with you—after that whole OKC thing, with the contract and all, it felt like my back was against the wall,” he says, referring to last offseason. The Thunder kept Waiters in limbo while Kevin Durant pondered his future. Once KD bolted, Waiters was no longer in the franchise’s long-term plans, despite the team previously hinting that he was. “It felt like they played with my life and with my family. I had offers—stuff you can’t pass up—and for them to hold out that long? It’s messed up.”
Goran Dragic called him "the opposite" of a bad teammate. Hassan Whiteside said Waiters has "been nothing but good for us." Spoelstra credited Waiters for "embracing our culture" and "meeting us more than halfway." Waiters, in turn, thanked the Heat for "believing in me" and "not holding me back," and the impending free agent has envisioned Miami as a long-term home.
One scout said he would be surprised if the bidding for Waiters soars much above $10 million, if that, because of his small sample size of high-level play this past season. One prominent agent who does not represent Waiters predicted he would get $8 million to $10 million annually, with Johnson falling in somewhere between $10 million and $15 million.
Dion Waiters indicated Sunday he is willing to give the Miami Heat a hometown discount when it comes to his impending free agency. The question, of course, is the degree of the largesse. Appearing on WSVN's 7 Sports Xtra, Waiters said he would be willing to make an accommodation with the team that helped revive his career, something he indicated at season's end and then during a recent appearance on ESPN. "It depends," he said Sunday. "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."
Waiters, 25, will turn down an option worth a little more than $3.2 million. His consistent production this past season bodes well for a considerable salary increase. June 29 is Waiters' official deadline date. Sources say the Heat are aware of his intentions
First, everything about what Dion Waiters might (or might not) realize on the free-agent market at this point is speculation. And the NBA types I have spoken to believe that some of the speculation is at a far higher rate than Dion might realize, considering the limited market last summer and the small sample size this past season due to injury. But often none of that matters, since it only takes one suitor to set the market, with plenty of cap space available around the league. Ultimately, it could come down to Dion's preference of cash or contention.
Dion Waiters wants to re-sign with the Heat this summer. The question is, will he? “I want to be there,” Waiters said Thursday when asked if he wants to return to the Heat during an appearance on The Hochman and Crowder Show on WQAM. “When that time comes and we sit down, we just got to make it happen. Let’s get it over with as quick as possible.”
Waiters holds a $3 million player option to return to the Heat next season, but he’s expected to enter free agency this summer with more money available on the open market. He made $2.9 million with Miami this season. “I think I’ll be back [with the Heat],” Waiters said on WQAM. “We just got to make it work and hopefully everything can come together full circle.”
Look, I know we fell one game short of the playoffs, and it kills me. If I hadn’t gone down with an injury, I think we all know where we’d be right now. But you know what? The run this season was magical. Our fans sold out the arena every night, even when we were left for dead. I love Miami. I had a hell of a season here.
Hopefully, we found a home down here. However it shakes out, this has been a hell of a ride this season, and now that you know a little bit about where I come from, and what I’ve seen, you know I’m being real with you when I say that I’m just thankful.
I genuinely thought I was going to be back in OKC this season, and we were going to make another run at it. But things didn’t work out that way, because basketball is a business. When I got a call from Miami, I went down there and walked into the O.G. Pat Riley’s office. It was damn near the best thing that’s happened in my NBA career.
When I heard that Miami was interested in me this summer, I wasn’t really seeing it at first. Nothing against the Heat, but I didn’t know how I’d fit there. Then I met Pat Riley. I walked into his office and … damn. The hair was slicked back, and he was wearing one of those suits of his, you know, real O.G., looking like a million bucks. Behind him, he’s got photos of all his championship teams lining the walls. He’s wearing one of his nine rings. He’s sitting there looking like De Niro in Casino. He’s looking like the boss. He’s looking like he’s seen it all, because he has. Purely as a basketball fan, I just want to learn from this man.
I knew right away Pat was a real guy, because he wasn’t even asking me about basketball. He was asking me about life. Then Pat says, “We’re going to get you in world-class shape. Not good shape. Not great shape. World-class shape.” I mean, I’m in the NBA. In my mind, I’m already in good shape. But do I eat a Philly steak every now and then when I’m home? You know I do. So Pat’s looking at me like, “Give us a season, and you’ll see. World-class.” Even the way this man pronounces world-class is world-class, you know what I mean? And then he says to me, “Tell me something about Dion that I don’t already know. Not about basketball. About life.”
If Miami Heat owner Micky Arison was trying to send a message about which direction the franchise will be going when the free agent period officially begins in July – consider it strongly delivered. Roughly 50 minutes prior to midnight Saturday, Arison posted a photo on his Instagram account of himself standing alongside Dion Waiters, James Johnson and a bunny rabbit and a caption which read: “The @miamiheat future looks very bright.”
Dion Waiters: I don't really do the social media thing!! But I will tell yu this. I will go to war wit this group of guys any day, any time, & anywhere.. this team & organization is for competitors only!!!! #ForTheCulture #PhillyCheese signing out!!!!! 🔥🔥🔥🔥 #SpecialGroupRightHere
Whiteside, meanwhile, said he would like to see what the team could do with Waiters healthy for a full season. Waiters has missed 12 games in a row because of a sprained left ankle and missed another 20 with a groin injury the first half of the season. “Obviously Pat didn’t trade any of us,” Whiteside said. “He wanted to see what this team can do.” “I think how we were in the second half of the season with Dion, we kind of mixed better as a team. We knew each other a lot better and we knew each other’s strengths a lot better. We know we can talk to each other eye to eye and face to face.”
But ask him about the idea of becoming Wade’s longterm successor here, not merely a one-year stopgap, and that elicits one of Waiters’ infectious smiles. “If you don’t think like that, you’re crazy,” he said. “I am enjoying this thing. Whatever it takes [this summer], I just want to be here. What we’re building here, we have a chance to do something special.”
In a weak market for free agent shooting guards, Waiters – a bargain at $2.9 million this season - could cost a bundle: perhaps $14 million or more this summer, and the Heat doesn’t need to decide yet if it’s going to pay it until Miami sees the closing chapter of the most impressive run of Waiters’ five-year career. But Waiters, 25, already knows how he wants this summer to play out. “I want to get it done as quick as possible,” he said, hoping Heat longterm interest is mutual. “Let's keep this thing rolling by any means. I don't want to go into free agency with a couple days and make a decision. I don't want that. I know where I want to be. Let's just get it done. My mom loves it here. Would be mad at me [if I left]. My son loves it. My family loves it.”
Could he see himself in Miami long term now that he’s made it past the trade deadline? “You never know what the world holds or what can happen. I live day by day,” Waiters said. “But like I said, I enjoy [being with the Heat]. Like I said, my teammates are great, the chemistry we’ve built, like I said I'm comfortable. Once you find comfort somewhere it makes everything else easier. Like I said, I'm comfortable, [there’s] Coach Pat. We’re going to see. “It’s Miami, my son loves it. Why not? We’re going to finish out strong and let everything else take care of itself.”
“He ain’t got to question me. He’s never got to question me,” Waiters said with a smirk Friday afternoon at shootaround when he was told what Riley had said about him and how his play down the stretch this season could affect his long term prospects with the Heat. “At the end of the day, I'm going to go out there, play my game, play hard and make sure that I leave it all out there for my teammates,” Waiters continued. “If I play hard every night, knowing I played hard, I can sleep good at night.”
Did he like hearing Riley, 71, toss out a bit of a challenge to him and others? “It’s a challenge everyday just being in the NBA,” said Waiters, who is averaging a career-high 15.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists and shooting a career-best 38.4 percent from three-point range this season. “Pat puts those type of expectations on us because he believes in us. I don’t call it pressure. I think it’s called a guy just showing great belief in us and this team that we have. Why not go for it all?”
Although the odds remain long that he returns to Miami, he is saying the right things and endearing himself to the franchise both on and off the court, especially recently. “Everything,” Waiters said this week when asked what has allowed him to feel at home with the Heat. “Organization, people around the organization, my teammates, coach, of course Pat (Riley). I think this is the best opportunity for me. Like I said when I signed, it wasn’t about the money it was about the opportunity and having a place you call home. I’m just happy I made that decision.”
The Oklahoma City Thunder rescinded the qualifying offer to guard Dion Waiters on Monday, making him an unrestricted free agent, league sources told The Vertical. The move protects salary cap space for the Thunder’s primary offseason objective, league sources said: persuading five-time All-Star guard Russell Westbrook to renegotiate his contract, which would eliminate his 2017 free agency.
Anthony Slater: Alex Abrines deal likely means Dion Waiters is gone. Creates flexibility. Abrines a bit younger, a lot cheaper + restricted at end of contract.
As The Post has reported, the Nets have maintained interest in the Thunder’s Waiters, but after losing out on both Crabbe and Johnson when Portland and Miami matched two contracts worth a combined $125 million, that interest has intensified. After going 0-for-2 in his swings at 24-year-old restricted free agent off-guards, will Nets general manager Sean Marks try a third? He will spend the next few days weighing whether to make an offer.
For the Nets, one possibility on the market could be a run at Oklahoma City Thunder restricted free-agent guard Dion Waiters, league sources said. The Nets have given some consideration to an offer, but will likely evaluate that in the next few days, league sources said.
Despite reaching a deal with Afflalo, the Kings still might add another shooting guard. Restricted free agent Dion Waiters is expected to meet with the Kings this weekend.
Keith Pompey: Dion Waiters will meet with the #SacramentoKings this weekend. The #sixers want to have a face-to-face meeting with the shooting guard.
Jason Jones: Sounding more and more like the Kings' top target in free agency is Dion Waiters more than 12 hours into free agency. One source described Waiters as "locked in" on Sacramento. He's restricted so OKC could match so expect any offer sheet to be big. Big, of course, is relative in NBA money. I could see Waiters getting $18 million a year.
Among the free agents contacted by the Sacramento Kings early Friday morning were Dion Waiters, Ryan Anderson and Matthew Dellavedova, league sources told The Vertical. Waiters is considered one of the Kings’ top targets, a source said.
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