Barry Jackson: Waiters and Derrick Jones available tonight
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Tim Reynolds: Injury updates Josh Richardson has a left hip strain, will not travel and will be re-evaluated Monday. Dion Waiters has a precautionary MRI on left knee which was Negative. Probable for tomorrow. Derrick Jones Jr. has a right knee bone bruise. Questionable for tomorrow.
Ira Winderman: Tyler Johnson on Heat injury report due to a sprained right ankle, listed as questionable vs. Knicks on Sunday. He saw Cavaliers medical staff Friday in Cleveland. Dion Waiters, who missed Friday’s game due to a migraine, no longer on Heat injury report.
Anthony Chiang: Dion Waiters will not play tonight due to a migraine.
Joe Vardon: Dwyane Wade (illness) will not play for the Heat against Cleveland; Dion Waiters is active for the first time this season
Marla Ridenour: Dion Waiters will be activated. Coach Erik Spoelstra not sure Waiters will play
Ira Winderman: Per Heat: Dion Waiters (ankle) will travel with the team today to Cleveland and is listed as questionable to play tomorrow night vs the Cavs. It will be Waiters’ first trip since last January’s ankle surgery. Certainly looks like his 2018-19 debut is imminent.
Ira Winderman: Dion Waiters says he is ready to return.
Anthony Chiang: Even though Dion Waiters was sent to Sioux Falls, Erik Spoelstra said there’s still no definitive timetable for his return to game action. The plan is for Waiters to rejoin the Heat on Sunday.
Dion Waiters’ return looks to be near. The Heat guard traveled to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on Friday morning to join the organization’s G League Team as part of a plan to get him back into game shape. Waiters has not played in a game since undergoing surgery Jan. 22 to repair instability and a preexisting navicular bone fracture in his left ankle.
With the Sioux Falls Skyforce coming off a week-long winter break following the G League Winter Showcase, the team is expected to have “training camp-like” practices Friday and Saturday. Waiters is expected to participate in both practices before returning to the Heat on Sunday.
Shandel Richardson: Dion Waiters is out tomorrow vs Cavs
Ira Winderman: Dion Waiters again listed as OUT by the Heat.
Finally, during a game in Dallas, Waiters landed awkwardly on his ankle and knew he could no longer wait. He sought outside medical opinions and opted for a surgery that took place in January. “I wanted to fight through it,” Waiters says when explaining why he didn’t have surgery two offseasons ago. “I’ve never been injured like this before, I’ve never had big-time injuries. But playing through it made it a lot worse. I want this to be the last time.”
“All of it put him in a dark place,” says Waiters’ closest friend, Rashawn “Bub” Cunningham. “He didn’t go out much. He got a taste of what it would be like to lose the game.” Waiters endured the process in obscurity, not making public statements as his star faded. “I was battling stuff within myself,” he says. “Everything was taken away. When this happens, you find out how much you really have to dig to get back.”
While Twitter had a field day with Waiters’s media day photos, he was focused on losing the 15 pounds he gained while he could barely walk. “Rehab f—ing sucks,” Waiters admits, but he still works out two times a day to get himself back in playing shape. He currently has a chef prepare his meals, and Bub is on hand to make sure he doesn’t give in to any cravings. “The internet is a lose-lose situation,” Waiters explains. “Yeah, I blew up. But people don’t see the other side of it. They don’t talk about how I played on a broken foot. They don’t know about the everyday grind. “I hate when people say I got paid. F— the money. I want to play. But I don’t need to tell the entire world. They don’t understand.”
Dion Waiters returned to practice Tuesday with the Miami Heat for the first time since his January ankle surgery. Coach Erik Spoelstra was quick to caution that it was not a full-contact practice, with the team declining to make Waiters available for comment until he completes such a session.
Asked if Waiters could return before the turn of the calendar, Spoelstra again declined to offer a timetable. “I don’t know,” he said. “Basically, right now it’s day-by-day evaluations, but he’s doing a lot more on the court, which is good.”
Waiters has yet to play as a teammate of Dwayne Wade, who joined the Heat at February’s NBA trading deadline. “It’s very encouraging,” Wade said after Tuesday’s session. “I think [Tuesday] was the first day that we were on the same unit. He has so much talent. He’s one of the guys that playing against him, I’ve seen the talent that he has on both ends of the floor. Then, obviously, I watched him when he was here and he was healthy, and he played very well.”
Ira Winderman: Dion Waiters watching this one from the Heat bench. A sign?
Shandel Richardson: There is no timetable on Dion Waiters and James Johnson returning to the lineup.
Anthony Chiang: Spoelstra on James Johnson and Dion Waiters: “They’re able to both do a lot more. So, I’m encouraged by it. There’s not a timetable on either one of them. But as long as they’re making progress, we’re good.”
Ira Winderman: Spoelstra says James Johnson and Dion Waiters are “both close.” He said both passed their conditioning tests.
Tim Reynolds: No Dion Waiters, James Johnson or Wayne Ellington tonight.
Shandel Richardson: Heat announce Bam Adebayo, Wayne Ellington and Josh Richardson will not play tonight at Charlotte. The usual suspects (Dion Waiters and James Johnson) also out.
Shandel Richardson: Waiters still limited to shooting drills pic.twitter.com/UfTMZkKfzm
Albert Nahmad: If Dion Waiters misses out on his $1.2M bonus for playing in 70 games, it’ll save Heat the $1.2M, plus another $2.0M in projected luxury taxes… But none of that is included in Heat’s current $130.0M team salary (excl. Bosh) or $9.7M projected tax bill.
Tim Reynolds: Waiters had surgery Jan. 23 to repair instability in the left ankle and a preexisting navicular bone fracture. He was told going in that it could take 8-10 months to be right. Sunday is eight months. By that timeframe, the Heat might be waiting for Waiters for a while yet.
There also remains the unanswered question about when Dion Waiters will be back from January ankle surgery. Long before undergoing the surgery on Jan. 22, Waiters said recovery from such a procedure would last eight to 10 months. … Heat point guard Briante Weber said Thursday that Waiters is not participating in any contact work with teammates or playing pickup games. “He’s doing his own workouts; he is on his own lane,” Weber said at Bam Adebayo’s South Beach event benefiting Adebayo’s charitable foundation. “The team we have, he doesn’t need to rush it,” Weber said. “We have guys capable of taking his share and holding it down until he gets back. We’re preaching to him to get healthy first and don’t rush it. The one thing you don’t want is to reinjure yourself. The game’s not going anywhere. We need you for the long run.”
Dion Waiters: 🎯✊🏿
The Heat received a $5.5 million salary-cap injury exception from the league last season for Waiters’ surgery but did not utilize it before it expired at season’s end. It was available only to add a replacement player for the balance of 2017-18. Waiters again has a bonus in excess of $1 million in his contract for appearing in at least 70 games this season. Because he failed to meet the requirement last season, that bonus currently does not count against the Heat’s salary cap and luxury tax.
Ira Winderman: More Riley from today. “Dion Waiters is now ramping up his efforts to heal and get better and put more work into being able to get out on the court, so he’s coming along.”
Ira Winderman: The Waiters update directly from the Waiters Instagram:
Waiters, on his Instagram account, on Tuesday posted a photo of himself taking a jump shot with these words: “First time on the court since surgery. All man great to be back. We getting closer. Bet on yourself. Then double down. Step by step.”
Ira Winderman: From Dion Waiters’ Instagram today:
Out of sight and out of action since January ankle surgery, Waiters has been back on the court at AmericanAirlines Arena in pickup games, including one that Wednesday featured Adebayo. “It can’t do anything but make us better,” Adebayo said of seeing the Heat’s once-and-expected-again starting shooting guard back on the court. “I feel like Dion has another unbelievable ceiling to him. He’s looking good to me. You can tell he’s been in the gym because he’s been working.”
Sidelined since mid-January ankle surgery, Waiters said it was difficult not to be part of the Heat’s playoff series against his hometown Philadelphia 76ers, a best-of-seven series the Heat lost in five games. “For me, personally, it was tough,” he said, “because that’s something I always dreamed about, just being home, in Philly, in the playoffs, the atmosphere, you know my family, my friends, everybody who watched me grow up, I wasn’t able to partake in that.”
Ira Winderman: Spoelstra on Waiters. “He’s going to be more than 100 percent.”
Anthony Chiang: Spoelstra had this to say today on Waiters’ rehab from ankle surgery: “Everything is on schedule, but it’s still so early. He’s out of the cast. He’s out of the boot. So he’s doing some light bike riding right now. And he’s been around a lot more, so that always helps.”
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.
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.
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July 23, 2019 | 9:41 pm EDT Update
Shams Charania: Undrafted Boston College guard Ky Bowman has signed a two-way NBA contract with the Golden State Warriors, league sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium.
The N.B.A. has begun an investigation into how teams handled free agency this summer, focusing on whether improper inducements were offered to players to circumvent the salary cap, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation.
The issue was raised by multiple team owners at a meeting of the league’s board of governors this month in Las Vegas, according to the person, who requested anonymity because of a lack of authorization to speak publicly on the subject.
It is unclear what the scope of the investigation is, or whether the league, which declined to comment, is acting on information other than reports in the news media. The investigation follows one of the most tumultuous off-seasons in N.B.A. history, with many high-profile players switching teams. The N.B.A. is also exploring whether it needs to change its rules against tampering. Several players committed to signing with a team as soon as free agency negotiations officially opened at 6 p.m. on June 30 — even though teams were not allowed to begin recruiting before then. League rules prohibit players, coaches and front office executives from enticing an athlete under contract with another team to come play for their franchise.
Kyle Ratke: Jordan Bell said he thinks he’ll be able to show more of his versatility & skillset in Minnesota. Per 36 minutes in his two-year career, Bell has averaged 10.9 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 4.0 APG, 2.4 BPG & 1.2 SPG
July 23, 2019 | 9:13 pm EDT Update
Dane Moore: Asked Ryan Saunders today about Robert Covington starting at the 4. Saunders said “there is a strong possibility of that.” Saunders also said, “I have liked Andrew Wiggins playing the 2.” Sounds like the other wing spot is up for grabs — w/ Layman and Culver as frontrunners.
Dane Moore: Today, when Ryan Saunders was asked what his biggest focus for Andrew Wiggins is this summer, he nodded to the shot chart below and said: “Shot selection. Shot values. I think that’s really important. And it’s not something that’s just a suggestion in the NBA anymore.” pic.twitter.com/uaJoPuqJ9f