Heat shooting guard Dion Waiters signed a four-year contract worth $52 million this summer to stay in Miami. Would the Heat have signed him to that deal if he were going to miss the majority of next season? Probably not. Waiters opted not to have surgery on his ankle last March, he told Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel:
“Some days you’re going to feel great, some days it might be just one of them days,” he said following practice at Florida Atlantic University. “You have to push through it and be smart about the whole situation.
“The swelling just started going down. It’s still a little bit swollen but it’s not how it was before.”
“When I found out, it was only two choices,” he said of when he missed the final 13 games last season. “I’m not a big fan of surgery, so I try to avoid surgery. I didn’t want to be out eight to 10 months. I asked for another solution, ‘What’s another way we can go about it?’ We went that route, just getting it stronger, keep getting treatments every day all day. That’s all I really do. But it’s fine, though. I’m good, man.”
Waiters said he is not surprised there has been lingering soreness.
“I knew it would take a while,” he said. “I knew it was a bad one when I did it. I haven’t felt any pain like that since I broke it in high school.”
Waiters says he has been receiving four or five treatments per day.
The fact that Waiters has been dealing with injury, and that the Heat presumably knew about it, makes the team’s decision to give him that much money even more interesting.