The 2020 NBA Finals will determine a number of legacies. Can LeBron James inch closer to GOAT status? Is Jimmy Butler providing the new blueprint for the modern NBA superstar? Will Anthony Davis supplant James as the true No. 1 on the Los Angeles Lakers?
While there’s a lot at stake for all of those players, there’s one person involved in the NBA Finals who will benefit no matter what happens. That would be Lakers guard Dion Waiters, who will win a ring no matter who wins the Finals.
How is that possible? If you can remember pre-pandemic times, you might recall Waiters, 28, began the NBA season as a member of the Miami Heat. He spent just three games with the team, averaging 9.3 points and 3.7 rebounds. He was suspended by the team multiple times, once after taking a THC-infused gummy on the team’s plane. The Heat eventually traded Waiters to the Memphis Grizzlies, who promptly got rid of him.
The Lakers picked up Waiters on March 5, but he did not appear in a game with the Lakers before the NBA season was postponed March 12. Waiters remained on the Lakers’ roster throughout the coronavirus postponement, and returned to play seven games for the Lakers in the Orlando bubble. Waiters averaged 11.9 points and 2.4 assists in those games.
Dion Waiters could make more money due to NBA Finals
Waiters is already set to receive a postseason bonus for being on the Lakers, but he could also receive money from the Heat. The Heat would have to vote to give Waiters a portion of their playoff money, but it could happen. While Waiters’ final year in Miami ended poorly, the team could still vote to give Waiters a share of its postseason bonus. It wouldn’t be an unusual move, either. A portion of that money usually goes to players who contributed to the team, but are no longer there.
Ultimately, Waiters is likely pulling for the Lakers to take care of business against the Heat so he can really feel as though he earned his ring. Sure, getting a ring no matter what happens is nice, but one would think it wouldn’t mean as much if Waiters’ ring came as a result of a series he actually lost.
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