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Dion Waiters suspended 10 games by Heat for 'conduct detrimental to team'

Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel on

Published in Basketball

MIAMI -- The Miami Heat have suspended guard Dion Waiters 10 games without pay for "conduct detrimental to the team."

The suspension began with Friday night's loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, when Waiters was not with the team for the game at Staples Center. Multiple team officials declined Friday to comment to the Sun Sentinel about whether Waiters already had been suspended.

Waiters, who previously was suspended for the Oct. 23 season-opening victory over the Memphis Grizzlies, will now be away from the Heat for the balance of the month, eligible to return for the Dec. 1 game against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center.

The suspension means Waiters will miss out on his $1.2 million bonus for appearing in at least 70 games, missing out for the third time in as many seasons since signing his four-year, $52 million Heat free-agent contract during the 2017 offseason.

Waiters was involved in an incident on the team flight late Thursday from Phoenix to Los Angeles, with multiple outlets indicating THC involvement. Teams are not allowed to comment on matters involving the NBA's drug policy, making the Heat move separate from any league discipline.

The Heat issued the following statement Sunday:

"We are very disappointed in Dion's actions this season that include the very scary situation on Thursday night, and grateful that the outcome wasn't worse.

"There have been a number of instances this season in which Dion has engaged in conduct detrimental to the team. Accordingly, he will be suspended without pay for 10 games, including the Lakers game last Friday, and will be eligible to return after the Golden State Warriors game on November 29th.

 

"We are proud of how our players have started the season. We expect all of our players, including Dion, to conduct themselves in accordance with the highest standards, and to show professionalism and respect for their teammates, the team, the fans and the NBA community."

Waiters has been made off limits by the Heat for comment since his initial suspension. He has been on the active roster for two games this season, but has yet to join teammates on the bench during the regular season.

The Heat are 6-3, idle until a Tuesday game against the visiting Detroit Pistons, to resume practice Monday at AmericanAirlines Arena after being given the weekend off following their weeklong western swing. Waiters accompanied the Heat back to South Florida on Saturday on the team flight.

Waiters' previous suspension cost him $83,448 for missing the single game. There is no relief from the luxury tax or salary cap because it is a team-issued suspension. The failure to make the 70-game bonus also does not change the Heat's position against the NBA hard cap, because such bonuses are not calculated until season's end, regardless of when they are eliminated as payments, NBA officials have confirmed to the Sun Sentinel.

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