The Miami Heat have added guard Dion Waiters to the mix for next season, according to a report from Jon Krawczynski and Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press. The AP report stated the deal is the $2.9 million room exception for one season, but The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski is now reporting it’s a two-year room exception deal worth nearly $6 million total, with a player option for the second season.
Waiters’ now former team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, had recently pulled his $6.8 million qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent. There were some rumblings that the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets may be interested, but that never came to fruition.
The 24-year-old spent the last season-plus as a member of the Thunder after arriving midway through the 2014-2015 campaign via trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Making 78 regular-season appearances in 2015-16, including 15 starts, Waiters averaged a career-low 9.7 points across 27.6 minutes per game. His rebounding and assisting numbers remained consistent en route to averages of two assists and 2.6 rebounds per contest. The guard also had some solid stretches on both ends of the floor in the postseason, which makes this tiny contract a bit of a surprise despite his underwhelming overall numbers.
Waiters will add some scoring punch to a Heat team that’s had an eventful summer. With Dwyane Wade now out of the mix plus Chris Bosh’s future still up in the air, Miami will be counting on a bunch of new players, including Waiters, to pick up the slack.
The Heat have notably reached the playoffs in seven of the last eight seasons while claiming a pair of NBA titles during that stretch.