KEY POINTS

  • Waiters admits he made immature decisions
  • Waiters may get more playing time with several players injured
  • Heat could still trade Waiters to other teams

Dion Waiters of the Miami Heat has had a rough 2019-20 NBA season but hopes to get back on track. After several suspensions, the 28-year-old guard finally played his first game for the Heat who lost to the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday.

Waiters ended up with 14 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.0 assists, not a bad first outing for the 6-foot-3 guard this NBA season. But of course, his shenanigans will not go away that easily. He has owned up to all that, admitting he made immature decisions and takes full responsibility for his mistakes, NBC Miami reported.

"I'm a grown man. I don’t point fingers. I’m could easily say this and that, but at the end of the day, it’s me," Waiters said. "I made immature decisions. So, you know, I take full responsibility."

Waiters played just 18 minutes for the Heat, who are severely undermanned right now. Watching from the sidelines are Jimmy Butler, Kendrick Nunn, and Goran Dragic, who are all dealing with injuries. With that said, Waiters may get a spot in the rotation of head coach Erik Spoelstra. But the 49-year-old coach noted that Waiters is far from game condition.

"He still has a ways to go with his conditioning, particularly game conditioning. That’s to be expected. But he’s a gamer,” he said.

If given more playing time on the court, Waiters could help out the Heat in their drive towards the NBA playoffs. Miami has been making heads turn with their performance this season with a 31-14 win-loss card in the NBA Eastern Conference. That effort is good enough to snag the third spot as of this writing.

As for Waiters, the question is will the Heat keep or trade him. It is no secret that team President Pat Riley is looking to improve and get his money's worth. The 4th overall pick of the 2012 NBA Draft was originally set to make $12.1 million before suspension ate through this year's earnings. For the 2020-21 season, he is due $12.6 million before becoming a restricted free agent in 2021, as per Spotrac.

As mentioned in a previous report, Riley did have a heart to heart talk with Waiters and James Johnson in an effort to get everyone on the same page. With regards to a trade, Waiters made it clear that he will not agree to a buyout and not accept anything less than what he is set to make this season and next.