With the final game of the NBA season in the books, speculation season has headed into overdrive, careening to the point where Dion Waiters-to-the-Warriors has merited ESPN speculation.
In a piece by respected ESPN analyst Kevin Pelton, speculation was offered about how the Golden State Warriors could potentially withstand the losses of Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant, with each impending free agent dealing with a long-term injury, Thompson an ACL, Durant an Achilles.
Enter the most mercurial component of a Miami Heat roster in need of overhaul.
Among possible Warriors trade targets mentioned in the ESPN analysis was Waiters, who seemingly fell out of favor with Heat management over conditioning issues in the wake of a severe ankle injury that eventually required surgery.
In the piece titled, "Eight Warriors free-agency and trade targets to help replace KD and Klay," Pelton writes, "The Heat have reportedly been searching to offload Waiters' $12.1 million salary to create more flexibility with the luxury tax, so Golden State might actually be able to get a draft pick in exchange for taking him into an exception created by a sign-and-trade."
Indeed, leading up to Thursday's NBA draft there has been increased speculation of the Heat utilizing their No. 13 first-round selection as a means of offloading some of the more onerous salary on the payroll, with the contracts of Waiters and James Johnson each with two additional seasons remaining and the Heat seemingly seeking to make a splash in 2020 or '21 free agency.