Dion Waiters will be back with the Heat next season.
The 25-year-old reportedly agreed to a four-year, $52 million deal to return to the Heat with a starting salary of $12 million for this upcoming season. With Waiters back on the roster, does Miami have too many guards?
We answer that question and more in the latest installment of the Heat mailbag. If you weren’t able to ask a question this time, send your questions for future mailbags via Twitter (@Anthony_Chiang and @tomdangelo44).
Tomas: Are there too many guards on the Heat’s roster now after re-signing Dion Waiters?
Anthony Chiang: Let’s start with this … there aren’t too many guards on the Heat’s roster. Miami’s roster currently includes guards Goran Dragic, Tyler Johnson, Josh Richardson, Rodney McGruder, Dion Waiters and possibly Wayne Ellington if the Heat guarantee his $6.3 million salary for the 2017-18 season by the Friday deadline. Six guards on a 15-man roster might sound like a lot, but remember this is now a small-ball league. And remember that Erik Spoelstra is not afraid to use three-guard lineups. In fact, once Justise Winslow suffered his season-ending shoulder injury last season, Miami used a three-guard starting five in Dragic, Waiters, McGruder, Luke Babbitt and Hassan Whiteside. Now, if you’re asking if the Heat have too much money invested in the guard position, that’s a different question. There’s a lot of value in the 2017-18 salaries of Miami’s guards — Dragic ($17 million), Waiters ($12 million), Ellington ($6.3 million), Johnson ($5.9 million), Richardson ($1.5 million) and McGruder ($1.3 million). It’s hard to argue that any of them are overpaid for this upcoming season in today’s NBA economic landscape. But things get a little trickier when Johnson’s contract spikes to a $19 million in the 2018-19 season. Throw in the fact that Richardson is now eligible to receive a four-year contract for as much as $44 million or could just become a restricted free agent next summer, and Miami will have to figure out how much more it will want to invest in its guard position moving forward.
@memediumpizza: Is there any Heat player in the summer league who grabs your attention?
Anthony Chiang: Other than the obvious answers of Bam Adebayo and Okaro White, no. It’s been a difficult summer league so far for Miami. The Heat finished the Orlando Summer League with a 0-5 record and they now move on to play in the Las Vegas Summer League. The good news for Miami is that Adebayo has shown flashes of his potential, like his 29-point, 11-rebound performance Monday. Adebayo averaged 17.5 points on 35.2 percent shooting from the field and 76.2 percent shooting from the free-throw line, to go with 8.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in four games in the Orlando Summer League.