It may seem crazy, but the Heat could bring back shooting guard Dion Waiters, whose stint in Miami was tumultuous as the 29-year-old was suspended three separate times for various reasons. Most famously, in November 2019, he was dealt a 10-day suspension without pay after taking too many cannabis-infused gummies on the team plane and suffering a panic attack that required medical attention upon landing.
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The former No. 4 pick who was part of the Los Angeles Lakers team that beat out Miami for the NBA Championship last season, but he wasn’t re-signed for the 2020-2021 season. Despite his numerous infractions, Waiters is solid on the court. With his ability to create shots for himself, the 6-foot-3 guard could be a huge offensive help off the bench.
Waiters is not the only former Heat player available to pick up. Miami could use their final roster spot to bring back Shabazz Napier, 29, who last played with the Washington Wizards, or Gerald Green, 35, who reluctantly released by the Houston Rockets in December 2020.
Letting of Green was not an easy decision for the Rockets. Head coach Stephen Silas said at the time, “It was a sad day to sit with him yesterday. Rafael [Stone] and I sat down with him yesterday and told him the deal, and he was nothing but professional, complimentary, just like Houston ‘til he dies. That was one of the harder things I’ve had to do since I’ve been head coach, to waive him.”
The Heat could also look to Joe Johnson, who despite turning 40 next month and not having played an NBA game since the 2017-2018 season, where he averaged 6.8 points per game, also has interest from the Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Brooklyn Nets “Scoop B” Robinson tweeted on April 20.
Miami Has Until May 16 to Sign a Player Eligible to Help During the Playoffs
There are only three requirements needed in order for the Heat to add another player: he either was waived by April 9, hasn’t played at all this season (like Dewayne Dedmon, who was signed to a veteran’s minimum contract), or signed a 10-day contract before the deadline.
Aside from the former Heat teammates available, Miami could take a look at the following players:
Austin Rivers, Michael Beasley, Cam Reynolds, Thon Maker, Skal Labissiere, Kyle Korver, Allen Crabbe, Troy Daniels, Allonzo Trier, Brandon Knight, Courtney Lee, Wilson Chandler, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Quinn Cook, Isaiah Thomas, Emmanuel Mudiay, Jodie Meeks, Jamal Crawford, Glenn Robinson III, Marquese Chriss, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Justin Jackson, Courtney Lee, Patrick McCaw, Ian Mahinmi, Greg Monroe, Amir Johnson, Glenn Robinson III, JR Smith, Lance Stephenson, and Jeremy Lin.
With the newly acquired Victor Oladipo future with the team remains in limbo following his injury, it makes way more sense for Miami to fill their final open roster spot with a man that can play now, as opposed to a young player to develop next season.
As long as the new player is signed by May 16, he will be eligible able to play during the postseason.