The 2017 free agency period hit a halt throughout the Fourth of July weekend, as NBA players patiently waited for the results of All-Star Gordon Hayward’s decision. Now that Hayward has elected to join the Boston Celtics, the other dominoes are beginning to fall in place.
Teams such as the Miami Heat can now move on from Hayward, upon failing to recruit the All-Star after a strong pitch. The Heat were one of the up and coming teams during the 2016-17 NBA season, rebounding after their horrible start with a 30-11 end to the season.
A key portion of their success was due to the play of shooting guard Dion Waiters. The five-year veteran seems to have found the right situation with the Heat, turning into an electric scorer and clutch player. After testing the free agent market, Waiters has decided to re-join the Heat, via ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:
Free agent guard Dion Waiters is finalizing a deal with the Miami Heat, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 5, 2017
According to Wojnarowski, Waiters is electing to sign a four-year deal with the organization, showing that the Heat were willing to lock in long-term. After a sub-par stint with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Waiters now resides with the Heat, with his first financial stable situation.
Waiters averaged 15.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists last season, while shooting 42.4 percent from the field and 39.5 percent from three-point range. The 2012-13 All-Rookie selection’s clutch antics during the 2016-17 season capped off when he hit a game-winner at home against Klay Thompson and the Golden State Warriors.
The Los Angeles Lakers were reportedly interested in signing Waiters, to fit as the starting shooting guard alongside Lonzo Ball. The Lakers met with Waiters Sunday night, but with their intentions on only giving out short-term deals, Waiters taking the long-term security with the Heat makes a lot of sense.