Shams Charania of The Athletic:
The suspension would cost Waiters $834,483.
I wonder whether he/the players’ union will appeal it.
The Collective Bargaining Agreement already specifies protocols for marijuana. Only a third violation leads to a public announcement, and that’s only to declare a five-game suspension. A fourth violation brings a 10-game suspension.
But Waiters never had a previous five-game suspension. So, this would be, at most, his third marijuana violation – which calls for a five-game suspension.
Of course, the Heat would argue there are other factors here – Waiters getting high while on team business, Waiters not cooperating with the investigation. Miami noticeably called this “conduct detrimental to the team,” not anything about marijuana.
This incident is already embarrassing for Waiters, who got suspended for the season opener. He has become the butt of jokes, and those won’t end anytime soon. But that doesn’t mean he should get unfairly punished.
Waiters also has a $1.2 million incentive for playing more than 70 games this season. This suspension will make it impossible for him to earn that bonus with the Heat. However, it’s theoretically possible for him to get traded to teams with more games remaining. In reality, nobody is taking Waiters ($12.1 million salary this season and $12.65 million salary next season) and playing him that much, anyway.