THe terms of the deal are 4 years and $52 million, according to Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders.
Waiters, 25, was a revelation in the 2016-17 season when healthy, averaging 15.8 points and 4.3 assists per contest. He helped lead the Heat on a 23-5 streak toward the end of the season that got them back into the playoff picture, though an ankle sprain ended his season prematurely.
With Waiters out of the lineup, the Heat went 7-6 in their final 13 games to finish 41-41 overall. They missed the playoffs due to losing a tiebreaker with the Chicago Bulls.
Waiters believed his injury was the reason the Heat couldn’t sneak into the No. 8 seed.
“Nobody wanted to see us in the first round. Nobody,” he wrote in an article for the Players’ Tribune in April. “Look, I know we fell one game short of the playoffs, and it kills me. If I hadn’t gone down with an injury, I think we all know where we’d be right now. But you know what? The run this season was magical. Our fans sold out the arena every night, even when we were left for dead.”
Waiters, who the Cleveland Cavaliers selected fourth overall in the 2012 draft, never made a huge impact early in his career with the Cavs or Oklahoma City Thunder. With the Heat this past season, however, he shot a career-best 39.5 percent from beyond the arc and 42.4 percent from the field overall, the second-best mark of his career.
His strong 2016-17 campaign made it a mere formality that he’d turn down his $3.5 million player option with the Heat and hit free agency this offseason. But after the Heat missed out on Gordon Hayward, it appears Waiters couldn’t resist the temptation to run it back in Miami and vie for a playoff spot.
If Waiters can continue to improve his perimeter shot and all-around game, he could become quite the bargain for the Heat. There is still room for his game to grow alongside a core that includes Goran Dragic, Hassan Whiteside, Justise Winslow, Josh Richardson, Tyler Johnson and rookie big man Bam Adebayo.
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