There are 1.1 million reasons Dion Waiters has looked for an alternative to ankle surgery. He has missed Miami’s last nine games and has sought out multiple medical opinions beyond the Miami Heat team doctors, all because he badly wants to get back on the court — Waiters receives a $1.1 million bonus if he plays in 70 games this season. He has played in 30, and the Heat have 41 left.
However, it sounds like Waiters has accepted reality — he needs to have surgery on his ankle. Via Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
Waiters signed a new contract four-year with the Heat last summer — he’s still going to make $11 million this season, don’t weep for him — but he has not been able to shake the ankle issues that slowed him at the end of last season as well.
Waiters averaged 14.3 points a game this season, but has struggled with his shot from three and just has not been the scorer that he was the second half of last season. He’s not been the guy Miami thought it was locking up with this new deal.
Miami has won six games in a row (all by single digits) and moved into the four seed in the East (meaning if the playoffs started today they would host a playoff round. Whatever they do the rest of the season and into the playoffs, they will have to do it without Waiters.