The Miami Heat were one of the hottest teams in the NBA down the stretch, thanks to one of their most valuable players. Dion Waiters proved down the stretch that he can be a go-to scoring option whenever needed. The former fourth overall pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers has seemed to found a home in Miami. That could all come to an end if Waiters decides to decline his player option, become a free agent and sign with another team.
The Heat don’t want that to happen, of course, and apparently the feeling is mutual. According to an interview on The Hochman and Crowder Show on WQAM, Waiters wants to be back with the Heat next season.
“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, 25, had one of his best seasons of his career during the 2016-17 season. In little over 30 minutes a game on the floor, he averaged 15.8 points per game on 48.8 percent shooting. He also improved to a career-high 39.5 percent from behind the three-point line. He improved in his ability to pass the ball as well, as he put a career-high 4.3 assists per game. Waiters showed tremendous improvement in his fifth year in the NBA.
Re-signing Waiters should be an easy task for the team, but it is most definitely not. He will most likely demand the biggest contract of his career as he has only made $19.7 million over his first five seasons. He is expected to pull in offers in excess of $15 million per year on the market. That would be hard for Waiters to pass up. Would he be willing to take a discount to stay with the Heat? Only time will tell.
The Heat will have over $38 million in cap space once Chris Bosh’s contract comes off the books this summer. That will leave room for Miami to improve their roster. Re-signing Waiters seems to be a easy decision for the team but will they prioritize that over getting other hot free-agents? With the cap space, the team has the opportunity to turn themselves into contenders in the East but they could go in all sorts of direction. The Waiters situation will definitely be one to watch as the offseason gets into full swing.