NBA Rumor: Dion Waiters Suspension

31 rumors in this storyline

NBPA appealing Dion Waiters' suspension

The National Basketball Players Association again is going to bat for suspended Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters, appealing his ongoing suspension, just as they have his previous two, a party familiar with the appeal confirmed to the Sun Sentinel. As was the case with the appeal for Waiters’ Oct. 23 opening-night suspension and then his 10-game suspension that ended on Nov. 29, the current appeal is not with the intention of getting the 28-year-old guard back on the court ahead of the end of the current six-game sanction that ends Dec. 23, but rather to recoup part or all of the lost wages.

More Rumors in this Storyline

Waiters, who has not played for the Heat this season, has lost $83,500 for each of the 17-games he has been suspended, $1.42 million total. As a matter of perspective, that is equal to the season salary being earned by the Heat’s Kendrick Nunn and Duncan Robinson this season. Whether the appeals are heard concurrently or individually, the appeal process is not expected to take place for months. The union did have the right to expedite the appeals of the two latest suspensions, but bypassed the opportunity, limited in the amount of times it can request expedited appeals for its entire membership.

Without mentioning any specifics to his Miami situation, Waiters acknowledged his frustration about the way the early season unfolded. He had lost a starting spot and minutes to rookies Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn. The team suspended him for its opener for “conduct detrimental to the team” after he took to social media to criticize the way the Heat used him. He is coming off a serious ankle injury and believes, he said, that he is ready and able to help his team win. “I’m a competitor. Any time you work hard and you envision something a certain way and it’s not going as you planned and you see it, you know, you go back to the drawing board and you figure it out. That’s what it’s about – figuring it out,” he said. “So continue to work, always stay confident. Just having the right people in your corner make things a lot easier. (It’s) being a competitor and wanting to play and me being healthy. Because you set goals. It’s taking a little longer but I still got those same goals, that same ambition. It’s not the end of my story.”

With Dion Waiters in the early stages of a 10-game Heat suspension, there have been conflicting reports about his future with the team. Two South Florida reporters have speculated that he has played his last game for the Heat, whereas The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that “the Heat are going to welcome him back after this 10-game absence.” Charania said: “The Heat has let Dion Waiters know we need you back in this rotation. We want you to come back and earn your stripes.”

“Enough’s been said about it,” Spoelstra said. “We’ll take it day by day.” Since the suspension was for one game, Waiters has lost $83,448 of his $12.1 million salary. But he stands to miss out on much more at this rate, since his contract carries a bonus of just over $1 million for appearing in 70 games this season. After not playing Tuesday, the most Waiters could play in this year is 78. Given his recent history, that seems unlikely. Waiters is in his fourth season with the Heat and has never made more than 46 appearances in a year since coming to Miami. Tuesday’s game will be the 250th Heat contest since he joined the club, and the 130th he has missed — largely because of ankle injuries and surgery on his ankle and foot.
More HoopsHype Rumors
September 20, 2021 | 9:35 pm EDT Update
September 20, 2021 | 7:05 pm EDT Update