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Miami Heat suspend Dion Waiters for 10 games

This is yet another chapter in the Miami Heat-Dion Waiters saga.

It has been a tumultuous season for Dion Waiters and the Miami Heat, and it is apparent that the Heat have had enough of his antics. On Sunday, it was announced that the team has suspended him for 10 games.

The most recent incident occurred on Friday when Waiters was ill because he ate too many gummies. The incident occurred a flight from Phoenix to Los Angeles, before the team was set to take on the Lakers. He fell asleep by the time the plane landed and he had a seizure when he woke up.  Waiters’ mother took to Instagram on Friday to deny the report.

Having missed nine games already this season,  he is in the third season of a four-year, $52 million contract.

In the meantime, the Miami Heat are performing well despite all of this off-court drama. Currently, they are ranked third in the Eastern Conference with a 6-3 record. They are set to take on the Pistons on the road on Tuesday.

It definitely seems like the Miami Heat are tired of the drama surrounding Waiters, whether it be one situation or another. This 10-game suspension is certainly warranted, given all of the things the team has had to go through this year with him. It would be one thing if he was a crucial part of this team, and was relied upon heavily in order for Miami to win. However, they have shown that they don’t need Waiters to win. Others have stepped up nicely to fill the void left by him.

It will be interesting to see if he has a role with the team following the suspension. I’m guessing his days in Miami are numbered. He is becoming a huge distraction and is obviously disgruntled. It may be best for both parties to cut ties and move forward. It is quite possible that a change of scenery is needed for him to continue being an effective player in the NBA. Right now, things are not going well for him in Miami.  It may be best for everyone involved to move forward.

Looking high, low for info about Dion Waiters’ latest issue

The Dion Waiters saga in Miami has taken a strange twist. After being fat shammed by most of NBA twitter for seemingly eating too many sweets while recovering from an ankle injury last season, his relationship with the Miami Heat took an even more sour turn this season. He was ultimately suspended by the Heat for conduct detrimental to the team, after his bench and Instagram comments about Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. And, even while being declared active, has not played for the team yet this season.

Now, on the team flight to Los Angeles, Waiters suffered a medical emergency when he overdosed on gummies according to Andy Slater of 640AM.ThTh

 

 

We certainly hope Waiters is OK, regardless of the circumstances.

The Heat have yet to comment further, as they returned Saturday and have a day off before preparing for Tuesday’s home game against Detroit.

While we wait, Twitter has been ruthless, as expected.

 

The guess here, however, is the Heat are not laughing.

More as it comes in.

The Miami Heat have no room for Dion Waiters

The veteran and the Miami Heat should part ways.

Dion Waiters is back with the Miami Heat, but he still is on the outside looking in. He practiced with the team on Wednesday, but he will not travel with them to face the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday.

To me, Dion Waiters is the odd man out right now for the Miami Heat. The team has gotten some great contributions from rookies like Kendrick Nunn and Tyler Herro. Many did not predict that the youth movement would start out as smoothly as it has for the Heat. The two rookies don’t even look like first-year players. They look like seasoned veterans, and have put a spark into this Miami Heat team.

The Miami Heat have found their dynamic duo

For their efforts, Nunn and Herro have averaged 21 and 16.3 points. One of the key assets of Waiters’s game is his ability to provide scoring. He is a volume shooter who used to be able to provide that spark off the bench. Now, that role is filled. Quite honestly, I don’t see where Waiters fits into this team at the moment. The whole situation is kind of fascinating. With the emergence of the rookies and the fact that Waiters’ tenure with the Heat has taken an unfortunate turn, it’s the perfect juxtaposition.

I will be interested to see what Miami does with him. They can’t really break up the rotation at the moment. Things are firing on all cylinders, and it will be stupid to jeopardize that. I could see him forcing his way out of Miami. Including this year, he has  two years left on his contract and is set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2021. Making a $13 million per season, the contract doesn’t exactly make him the easiest players to move. If anything, is a hindrance.

Waiters is the odd man out

As it stands right now, I don’t see where he fits on the Miami Heat. He is a good player and has done a lot for them. However, it would be too risky to break up the roster right now. Everybody seems to be jelling and meshing with each other. He would definitely be a bigger asset to another team. He could come back and be a solid rotation player, assuming they don’t change the way they’re doing things right now. However, I don’t see that happening. I think his days as a member of the Miami Heat are numbered, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in a new uniform before the trade deadline. It would be best for both parties to move in a new direction.

 

 

Miami Heat suspend Dion Waiters before zero tolerance season

“I let the culture slip.”

With those words — spoken after last season by Miami Heat president Pat Riley — you knew the next season would be different. Riley felt burned after he gave much-criticized lucrative long-term contracts to non-stars in 2016 and 2017 and then those players returned the reward by slacking on their conditioning.

And before it even begins, this season is different.

First, Riley banished James Johnson from training camp not for failing the conditioning test — he passed — but for failing to meet Riley’s special weight requirement.

Now, Dion Waiters, who had weight issues last season but got himself in better shape this offseason, has been told he isn’t “in Heat shape” by Erik Spoelstra (we posted that video), and has been steered toward a bench role as Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro have gotten preseason starts.

And he’s been openly unhappy about it.

So now he’s been suspended for one game.

Notice the language.

“Number of unacceptable incidents.”

Remember Waiters telling Ira Winderman that he wasn’t cool with coming off the bench, even after he flourished in that role against Charlotte in the third preseason game?

Remember this from Spoelstra about what he wants from Waiters, which Waiters then somewhat contradicted right after?

Here was Waiters:

There was some speculation that Waiters was away from the team for three days this week after Charlotte game because of a disciplinary action, though my sources did confirm an actual personal issue unrelated to his unhappiness.

Even so, it doesn’t seem to be stopping.

Here are some tweets that tell the story:

 

Instagram always remembers, and this doesn’t appear that it is going away anytime soon. Unless Waiters ends up elsewhere:

We know how this goes.

Just ask Hassan Whiteside. In Portland.

Do the Miami Heat have a Dion Waiters issue?

Dion Waiters had a great game on October 9th, scoring 19 in a preseason rout of the Charlotte Hornets.

The problem came after it.

It was reported by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that Waiters is not happy with anything short of a starting role this season. To be clear, Waiters made no public demands. Waiters, like Hassan Whiteside (traded to the Portland Trailblazers in the offseason) aren’t by any accounts bad guys. But both, perhaps Whiteside more than Waiters, have reputations for putting individual success first. And that maybe they aren’t your prototypical Heat guys.

Waiters can help the Heat if he’s in shape, which he appears to be. His ballhandling, shooting and swagger are useful attributes. But only if he buys in. So will he start? And how will he react if he doesn’t?

The Heat don’t typically throw rookies in the fire right away, but there Tyler Herro was, opening Monday’s win against Atlanta as Waiters was inactive, and scoring the Heat’s first 14 points. Herro is making a compelling a case, with hsi shotmaking and playmaking, to start alongside Justise Winslow and Jimmy Butler in the backcourt.

It should be noted that Waiters did what he was supposed to do this summer: he got in better condition. Is he in “Miami Heat shape”? Spoelstra said at training camp Waiters wasn’t quite yet, an assessment Waiters didn’t seem to appreciate. But, as every knows by now, Miami Heat shape requires more effort to tone and condition your body than is necessary for the average NBA team. And even that doesn’t guarantee anything. You still need to fit with your teammates on the floor. The Heat have made a point of Herro’s gym rat nature. Is Waiters meeting the same standard? It’s not enough for a veteran of several seasons to just shave off a few extra pounds.

A starting spot should be determined by your level of play, chemistry with your teammates and how all of that correlates to overall team success on the court. Waiters does have chemistry with Goran Dragic; we saw that in the 2016-17 run. So it might be prudent to keep 7-11 duo intact. Waiters improved his three point shooting last year, especially in catch and shoot situations last year with Winslow and Josh Richardson handling most of the ball handling situations. However, now it’s a different team and it’s also Jimmy Butler’s team, so he’ll need to continue to build off of what he did last year and what he did Wednesday night vs the Hornets.

Yes, Waiters worked more this offseason.

But even with that, and the improvements he’s made, Spoelstra is famous for these five words: It doesn’t guarantee you anything.

Heat do the impossible, deal Whiteside, get value

“There are obstacles, but there are no obstacles.”

It didn’t make sense when Pat Riley said it a little over a week ago. In fact, it was so odd that it made some Miami Heat fans angry.

Anyone want to offer Riley an apology?

He told you that the Heat could move their worst contracts if necessary.

(He also told you that Hassan Whiteside would come to camp and compete and that  Goran Dragic was his starting point guard, but I told you to ignore all of that.)

 

Today, Riley and the Heat dealt one of the worst fits for their culture in recent memory, sending Whiteside to Portland for Meyers Leonard and Maurice Harkless. Who the Heat got back almost doesn’t matter, though both Leonard and Harkless are better complimentary fits here, provided neither is dealt elsewhere. The point here is, Whiteside had to go. It was long past time. And it was unfair to Erik Spoelstra to put him through another season of managing his situation.

We agree with that more than this…

 

It’s not surprising that the Blazers wanted Whiteside. They wanted to max him in 2016, when the Heat probably should have let them. And Jusuf Nurkic, their center, may miss significant time with a major injury. Whiteside is close with the Blazers’ elite backcourt, Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.

It saves something else.

Us from having to watch players who didn’t care enough consistently.

Do you like the trade?

Apparently.

It’s polling 97-3 in favor on the @5ReasonsSports account.

Heat to Dion Waiters: Time to Shape Up or….

It was the open secret of the Miami Heat season.

The proverbial elephant in the room.

Dion Weighte- (er, Waiters) was overweight.

And the Heat, behind the scenes, weren’t happy about it.

Very not happy about it.

Heat fans, on the other hand, were equal parts amused and annoyed, until Waiters went on a three-point shooting spree to salvage his season somewhat.

This has been going on forever, actually.

Look at the date on this one:

We all know how Pat Riley feels about conditioning. Miami Heat shape. World class shape. He forced Tim Hardaway to meet a certain weight, even after Hardaway was a multi-time All-Star. He briefly banished Antoine Walker and James Posey after the 2006 championship, after Walker promised to keep drinking all offseason and seemed to diligently fulfill his promise. He has nearly killed men in practice; just ask them.

So it was a matter of time before the team snapped. The Heat tried to put on a good face about this, as they typically do, when there’s something they’d like to not make a public issue — particularly when they’re paying a player $52 million guaranteed over four years to overeat and underperform.

For instance…

Recently, roughly two weeks ago, Spoelstra said that Waiters was getting into better condition and that’s why he was playing better. There wasn’t much of the season left.

It is not like Spoelstra to call players out publicly. That’s a Riley thing. That’s what made Friday’s Spoelstra press conference so remarkable. He basically spoke for both of them, with more pointed words for Waiters than anyone else on the roster. Actually, Waiters was the only player targeted with even a tinge of negativity, as Spoelstra waxed poetic about Dwyane Wade, gushed over the Heat’s kids (especially the clearly beloved Bam Adebayo) and even said he believed in Hassan Whiteside.

Waiters?

Well.

Here are some tweets.

And this…

And this was the money quote…

Just in case no one understood…..

“Pat and I are on the same page on this.”

That’s a message they meant to deliver. Together.

This time, there’s no Good Cop.

Just Bad Cop and Worse Cop.

Expect Riley, if he ever speaks to the assembled media again — we’re expecting next week — to deliver it even more sternly. They have two years left on Waiters’ contract and he has been difficult if not impossible to deal. They need to try to make something work.

So it will be interesting to see what happens if he can’t make weight.

Pressure on Heat veterans tonight in NYC

This should be easy.

The Knicks are intentionally awful, worst in the East at 14-61, and arguably the worst franchise in the East over the past five years.

But, with the Heat missing Justise Winslow, Josh Richardson and Rodney McGruder — and having struggled against some of the NBA’s worst teams already — nothing can be taken for granted.

Simply, they need to get something of significance from three of the highest-paid veterans on the roster: Hassan Whiteside, Dion Waiters and James Johnson.

The good news is Waiters has been a little better of late, averaging 20.3 points in his past three games, with reasonable efficiency.

The Heat had a short morning shootaround in Manhattan and John Kozan of Miami Heat Beat was there to cover it (and take the photo above).

Tip is at 7:30 p.m.

Follow @5ReasonsSports and @MiaHeatBeat for more coverage.