Chris Haynes: Memphis Grizzlies do not plan to keep guard Dion Waiters with a buyout or release on the horizon, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
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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.
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.
The Heat is actively exploring avenues to extricate itself of guard Dion Waiters, but Waiters – at this point – opposes giving up any of the money he’s owed to achieve that, according to a source briefed on the situation. Before Waiters’ third suspension that began last week, the Heat hadn’t ruled out playing Waiters if the team had a flurry of injuries or if he comported himself impeccably over several weeks.
One source said every option is “on the table” in trying to achieve that, noting the preference is to keep him away so that he doesn’t hurt team chemistry.
It’s possible Waiters could eventually accept a giving up a bit of the money he’s owed if he grows determined to play this season. One source said he wants to play, but – at this point – not if it means giving up millions of dollars in salary. But Waiters could change his mind if he has reason to believe that another team would sign him, thus offsetting money he would be relinquishing in a Heat buyout.
The Heat also has considered exploring ways to void his contract, according to a team source, but that is viewed as unlikely because it assuredly would trigger a legal battle with the players union, which wouldn’t want to establish a precedent for contracts being voided. Unless Waiters is willing to consider sacrificing some salary in a buyout – and he eventually might – the most realistic resolution in the interim could involve Waiters and the team agreeing for him to continue to be paid while staying away from the team.
A source on Sunday confirmed to The Miami Herald that the boat incident was a factor in this latest suspension but not the only one. There have been more than a half dozen team violations by Waiters this season, including complaining on the bench during the preseason finale, refusing to do a required weigh-in and several inappropriate posts on social media.
Stadium: NBA Insider @ShamsCharania reports Dion Waiters will return to the Heat when his 10-game team suspension ends after “gummy” incident. “There isn’t a buyout on the horizon … he has to get back into the good graces of the organization”
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September 21, 2021 | 1:22 pm EDT Update
Complicating matters with that caveat of right now, of course, is the reality that the Sixers also do not appear close to a trade they are willing to go through with that gives Simmons his desired fresh start. More than two months after posting one of my Tuesday newsletter extravaganzas on Substack for the first time on July 13 — also a breakdown, on that occasion, of the latest on the Simmons front — Philadelphia looks no closer to a trade to bring an end to this stalemate.
Weeks of Philadelphia’s Simmons talks with various teams haven’t brought the Sixers to the brink of a deal, largely because Morey is the one faced with trying to get commensurate value for his All-Star and still asking for so much in return in his determination to recoup a trade package that, as one source put it, keeps Philadelphia in title contention. History, however, says that Philadelphia’s president of basketball operations shouldn’t count on getting a glittering package back when a deal finally materializes — his own history.
I reported Monday that the Sixers don’t expect Simmons to show and are resigned to try to keep working behind the scenes to try to convince him to reconsider that stance. After I published that, another source close to the situation told me: “Right now, I don’t see a scenario where Ben is back in Philly.” The source meant it with permanence. As in: Simmons’ career with the Sixers, to the source, is over.
Yet league sources maintain, as noted above, that the Sixers are actively trying to convince Simmons to rejoin the team even though he has made it clear to management that he doesn’t want to spend another second as a Sixer. I was told very clearly that the Sixers do not liken these circumstances to Al Horford’s last season in Oklahoma City or John Wall’s in Houston. As the start of training camp draws near, Philadelphia has shown zero interest to date in striking the sort of mutual agreement that Wall and the Rockets just hatched to shelve the former All-Star point guard.
The Sixers have not lowered the bar on what they’re seeking in a Simmons trade — yet. Toronto, Minnesota, Cleveland, San Antonio and Sacramento — all of them, league sources say, have engaged with Philadelphia in Simmons trade talks. They’re also all bubble playoff teams at best based in markets not known for attracting free agents and surely love the idea of acquiring Simmons when the 25-year-old is locked into three guaranteed seasons on his contract after this one.
Ian Begley: Nets GM Sean Marks says BKN has had ‘very positive’ conversations with both Kyrie Irving and James Harden about signing extensions. Says they are looking forward to continuing to talk to Irving and Harden about extensions over the next week or two.
Kristian Winfield: Sean Marks on James Harden/Kyrie Irving extension talks: “We’ve had very positive conversations with both of those guys and their family members. It always helps to do those things in person.” Says they’re going to resume talks in the next 2 weeks or so. #Nets