Dion Waiters makes it clear he wants to return to Heat — ‘Let’s get it over with as quick as possible’

Dion Waiters #11 of the Miami Heat celebrates a late three point basket while playing the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on March 6, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. Miami win the game 106-98. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

MIAMI — Dion Waiters wants to re-sign with the Heat this summer. The question is, will he?

“I want to be there,” Waiters said Thursday when asked if he wants to return to the Heat during an appearance on The Hochman and Crowder Show on WQAM. “When that time comes and we sit down, we just got to make it happen. Let’s get it over with as quick as possible.”

Getting a deal done with a player who wants to be in Miami sounds easy, but money could end up dictating Waiters’ decision. The 25-year-old is expected to sign the first big contract of his professional career this offseason, as he’s made $19.7 million over his five seasons in the NBA.

After averaging 15.8 points and 4.3 assists in a career-best season with the Heat, Waiters is expected to get contract offers worth around $15 million per season this summer.

Waiters holds a $3 million player option to return to the Heat next season, but he’s expected to enter free agency this summer with more money available on the open market. He made $2.9 million with Miami this season.

“I think I’ll be back [with the Heat],” Waiters said on WQAM. “We just got to make it work and hopefully everything can come together full circle.”

The Heat are expected to have about $38 million in cap space this summer after it clears Chris Bosh’s contract off their salary cap.

Since Miami’s season ended, Waiters has posted videos of himself working out in South Florida with Heat teammate Udonis Haslem. It’s just a continuation of the work he put in during the season, as Waiters took advantage of the Heat’s program to get his body in better shape and proved it by posting a before-and-after photo to show off his new physique.

That “Heat culture” is one of the reasons Waiters wants to return next season.

“The things that they preach to us and really speaking it into existence, and being able to really buy in and see the results,” Waiters said on WQAM. “I think once you start seeing the results, you start to trust the process more. That was my whole thing. My thing was about seeing the results. When I listen and I’m locked in, you see the results. And as far as my body, just being able to maintain the weight that I lost to help my play was huge for me.”

As for the sprained left ankle that forced him to miss the final 13 games of the regular season, Waiters said he’s now feeling “good.”

“I’m in the best shape of my life,” he said on WQAM. “Philly Cheese coming back stronger and better than ever.”

[Erik Spoelstra a finalist for another coach of the year award]

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