Could surging Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters be on the move?
While it’d be surprising to see the Heat be major players before the NBA Trade Deadline passes tomorrow afternoon, Sun Sentinel Heat reporter Ira Winderman does “believe the Heat will do something.”
This could include attempting to upgrade at power forward, he says, which is currently being occupied by Luke Babbitt and James Johnson, via a trade or even on the buyout market. If not he could see them being sellers despite winning 14 of the last 16 games.
“As far as sellers, I would keep an eye on Dion Waiters,” Ira said on the Big O Show. “Josh Richardson is coming back for the game in Atlanta. The Heat’s future — you and I have spoken about — is about Josh Richardson, is about Tyler Johnson in the backcourt. If they can get a first-round pick — I don’t think they can but if they could — I would trade Dion Waiters right now. If they can get an attractive package of second-round picks from a team you know will be in the Top 10 of the second round going forward I also might think about trading Dion Waiters for this reason.
“He’s going to become a free agent, the Heat do not have Bird Rights for him anyway, they’re quite possibly going to lose him for nothing and as long as they have Tyler Johnson and they have Josh Richardson on this team, those are guys they’re committed to going forward, guys they’re gonna work with, guys they need to play over the final two months of the season even if it sets back to a degree their playoff chances… I think you can survive without Dion Waiters as long as you don’t have other injuries.”
Ira went on to say the market would be any team who failed to land Lou Williams, who was traded from the Lakers to the Rockets.
While I agree the Heat should look to move Waiters for a draft pick, it’d be surprising to see a contender gamble on a player of Waiters’ volatility at the cost of a first-rounder. He’s kicking ass of late, shooting the lights out, and appears to have settled down some as a wild attacker but this is far from the player of the last four years and a regression is likely coming.
If there’s a team out there willing to part ways with what will likely end up being a Top 40 pick, I think it’s a no-brainer. The Heat’s playoff push is exciting and no question Waiters has been an instrumental piece but it’s also important to have the long view and focus on building a team that will contend for years to come. That may not necessarily align with a chase for the No. 7 or No. 8 seed this year.
I know Dion is fun, entertaining, and making strides as a player but unless the Heat is prepared to commit to him in the long-term, which would be batshit crazy, they should look to sell while his stock is up.