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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.
We’ve been told by two NBA general managers that the Heat has made Tyler Johnson, Hassan Whiteside and Dion Waiters available in trade talks this summer.
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January 22, 2021 | 5:21 pm EST Update
Shams Charania: The Atlanta Hawks have decided to guarantee veteran forward Solomon Hill’s $2.1M salary for the season, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Hill was on a non-guaranteed deal, but has played in all 14 games, averaged five points and 34.5 percent 3-point shooting.