Heat aggressively trying to trade Waiters

Sam Amico

The Miami Heat have stepped up efforts to trade shooting guard Dion Waiters, according to multiple reports, including one from Ethan Skolnick of Miami's Five Reasons Sports Network.

The Heat are reportedly the top preferred destination for Minnesota Timberwolves star Jimmy Butler, who requested a trade. But according to Five Reasons Sports, the Heat are looking to move Waiters "even if it's not directly for Jimmy Butler."

Waiters has been mentioned as a trade possibility since around last season's deadline in February, but the buzz has been growing more intense since early in the offseason.

Now, it appears, the Heat are looking to shake things up, starting with arguably their best player over the past two seasons, when healthy.

Waiters underwent season-ending ankle surgery in January. He played in just 30 games last season and 46 games the year before that because of an assortment of ankle injuries.

But he has averaged 15.0 points and 4.1 assists over those 76 games and developed into a true threat when he can stay on the court.

Waiters, 26, has also spent time with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Oklahoma City Thunder. His best season, scoring-wise, came during his second year as a pro in Cleveland (15.9 ppg). The Heat also have Dwyane Wade returning at shooting guard for one more season, and several others who can play the position. Miami has the highest payroll in the league entering the season and Waiters has three years and more than $36.3 million guaranteed left on his current deal, plus an additional $3.6 million in incentive bonuses.