Miami Heat Rumors: Dion Waiters Will Opt Out, Addresses Pending NBA Free Agency
Miami Heat rumors have shooting guard Dion Waiters discussing his decision to opt out this summer and enter NBA free agency again. A report by the Sun Sentinel reveals that Waiters may even offer the Heat a hometown discount during free agency. Just how inexpensive he might be is a question that the front office will be asking, though, as Waiters already announced plans to opt out of his current contract with the team.
Dion Waiters signed a two-year contract for roughly $6 million during free agency last summer. It was a very team-friendly deal that would call for him to make about $3.2 million for the 2017-18 NBA season. He received a player option, though, and already told the team that he plans to opt out of the deal as soon as he can. This will allow him to re-sign with the Miami Heat or test free agency to see what the open market might offer him this time around.
Waiters spoke at length about his thought process and relayed his excitement level at being able to enter free agency following a successful season on the court.
“It’s excitement at the end of the day, just getting a chance to go through that process and see what the team is talking about and things like that, just the little things, it’s exciting. This is an exciting time. You knew how hard you worked.”
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) July 25, 2016
A number of Miami Heat salaries are coming off the books next year, including the long-term Chris Bosh contract. It will free up a lot of money for the front office to work with in free agency, including enough money to extend a contract to Dion Waiters that is palatable for both sides. Bosh was set to make just over $25.3 million during the 2017-18 season, but a medical exemption will allow the team to have that number not count against the salary cap.
Dion Waiters was with the Cleveland Cavaliers until January of 2015 when the team dealt him to the Oklahoma City Thunder as part of a three-team trade. The Cavs acquired Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith from the New York Knicks in that deal, putting pieces in place to make a run at the NBA Finals. Both Shumpert and Smith still remain on the Cleveland roster.
After parts of two seasons with OKC, Waiters signed with the Miami Heat for the 2016-17 NBA season. In 46 games (43 starts), Waiters averaged 15.8 points, 4.3 assists, and 3.3 rebounds a game. He really stepped up down the stretch for the team and lessened the blow of no longer having Dwyane Wade on the roster. Wade had left the Heat to sign a free-agent deal with the Chicago Bulls.
— NBCSN (@NBCSN) January 6, 2015
There are going to be a lot of Miami Heat rumors when the NBA offseason finally begins, especially with how much money the team could spend. The Heat will have roughly $35 million to $40 million to work with, and it is a good assumption that Dion Waiters and his agent are looking to be part of those plans. While he has offered to give Miami a hometown discount to re-sign with them, there haven’t been any true negotiations (yet) to show just how little he is willing to take to remain on the roster.
The 25-year-old shooting guard is going to be one of the better options available at his position this summer, so it’s possible that there could be a number of teams ready to offer him a multi-year deal. With his career resurging as a member of the Heat, he may have also added millions in salary to the next deal he gets. With several other holes on the active roster, though, dealing with the Dion Waiters situation is going to be one of many storylines that come up in the next round of Miami Heat rumors.
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