The 2016-17 campaign aided in changing the overall perception of Dion Waiters across league circles, with a prosperous inaugural season in South Beach helping revitalize his career.
Now set to decline his mild $3.2-million player option to become an unrestricted free agent, Waiters appears willing to discuss a discount with the Miami Heat to stay exactly where he is, while also helping the organization in the process.
"It depends," he said Sunday during an appearance on WSVN's 7 "Sports Xtra." "Yeah, I would, though. But, like I said, it depends, just being the right thing, at the right time. It's just got to be right. It's got to be equal."
The 25-year-old's contract was only for the biannual exception of $6 million over two seasons, with an option for 2017-18. His final year as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder left a lot to be desired, so Waiters essentially had to prove himself all over again in Miami and show he still warranted a big payday and long-term commitment from a team.
He missed almost half the season thanks to a number of injuries, including a pectineus tear and an ankle ailment. When Waiters was on the floor, however, he posted arguably the strongest numbers of his five-year career, averaging 15.8 points on 42.4 percent shooting with 3.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 0.9 steals, and a career-best PER of 14.5.
"It's excitement at the end of the day, just getting a chance to go through that process and see what the team is talking about and things like that, just the little things, it's exciting," Waiters said regarding the league's free-agency period. "This is an exciting time. You knew how hard you worked."
In terms of how much money he'll be asking for, Waiters mentioned he'll be leaving all of that up to his agent, as his primary offseason focus is conditioning and improving his game.