TopicMMOgo first reported the deal on Wednesday
Dion Waiters is staying in the Sunshine State.After narrowing his destinations down to the Knicks, Lakers and Heat, the free agent guard has signed a four-year deal to remain in Miami, the Heat announced Friday. MMOgo first reported the deal on Wednesday."Dion Waiters proved to us last season that we have found one of the best two guards in the NBA and we are happy today to be able to sign Dion to a long-term contract with NBA Live Mobile Coins," Heat president Pat Riley said in a statement. "We love his game and competiveness. He is an attacker and an excellent three-point shooter as well as a defender. He is a player that has no fear in taking the last shot regardless of the outcome.
We believe that continuity has shown to be one of the important things that we do by keeping a team together. Having Dion back in the fold is a big factor in keeping that team chemistry together."Waiters, coming off a career season with the Heat following subpar stints with the Cavs and Thunder, was hoping to cash in on his breakout performance after signing a one-year deal worth $2.9 million with Miami last July. He turned down a player option worth just over $3.2 million to test the free-agent market, but the former No. 4 overall pick is sticking with the team that gave him the opportunity to prove he can bounce back.Waiters, 25, averaged 15.8 points last season and posted career bests with his 39.4 percent 3-point shooting and 4.3 assists and 3.3 rebounds per game.
The Celtics have been toiling to supplant the Cavaliers as Eastern Conference champions for a couple years now. Tuesday's news may have just helped them reach their goal.Gordon Hayward officially picked the Celtics over the Heat and Jazz on Tuesday, ending one of the most anticipated free agent pursuits since LeBron James' infamous decision, which resulted in him "taking his talents to South Beach".While Hayward was far less annoying about his tough decision, he too left the team with which he had spent his entire career. After making his first All-Star team this past season, and playing at that level a couple seasons before, Hayward became one of the more sought-after free agents of the last couple seasons.The 6-8 forward averaged 21.9 points per game last season while shooting just under 40 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.
Boston desperately needed to find another shooter, one who could stretch the floor and create more room for Isaiah Thomas.Not only does Hayward provide that missing piece, he also gives Boston fans another star for whom to cheer. The Celtics have recently done a great job acquiring high draft picks, but needed another proven veteran to really contend with the Cavaliers in the East.With Hayward on board, the Celtics now have three All-Star caliber players (Hayward, Thomas and Al Horford, who signed last year) ready to give opposing defenses fits. The Celtics are also deep, thanks to those aforementioned high draft picks.However, there is still one flaw with the Celtics' roster. Instead of acquiring a more physical player to guard LeBron James, something Boston struggled mightily to do during the Eastern Conference Finals, they signed another small forward.
With Jae Crowder, Jaylen Brown and 2017 draft pick Jayson Tatum already on the roster, Boston legitimately now has four quality small forwards. Someone is likely to be moved, which means the Celtics could still improve from now until the regular season begins. The Celtics will move on from 7-footer Kelly Olynyk. Hayward does make the Celtics a better team than they were without him. Not only is he talented on offense, he is an underrated defender who can cover either wing position. Small forward was far from Boston's biggest need cheap NBA Live Coins - MMOGO NBA Live Mobile Coins, but they now have the option to play multiple small forwards at the same time.Hayward can move to shooting guard, allowing Brown to play the three. Crowder, though undersized at 6-6, could play power forward similarly to how Draymond Green plays it for the Warriors. The Celtics will have more positional flexibility next season.