Miami Heat

Familiar point guard added to Heat’s G-League roster; Dion Waiters has ankle surgery

Heat guard Dion Waiters poses for a photo with a family member shortly before going in for left ankle surgery on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018 in Los Angeles.
Heat guard Dion Waiters poses for a photo with a family member shortly before going in for left ankle surgery on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018 in Los Angeles. Instagram

Former Heat point guard Briante Weber, who played in one regular season game with the Heat at the end of the 2015-16 season and made a pair of brief appearances in the playoffs that same season, is back with the organization after having his two-way contract with the Houston Rockets come to an end on Sunday.

Weber, 25, was acquired by the Heat’s G-League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, on Monday. Over the past three seasons, Weber has appeared in 40 NBA games between the Grizzlies, Heat, Hornets, Hornets, Warriors and Rockets, averaging 3.0 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists in just over 12 minutes per game in his NBA career.

A member of the 2016 NBA G League Championship team in Sioux Falls, Weber has appeared in 59 games (40 starts) for the Skyforce over the last two seasons, averaging 13.7 points, 6.4 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game. He was voted to the All NBA G League Second Team a year ago and is the Skyforce franchise leader with six career triple-doubles.

This season, Weber appeared in 18 games for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers as part of his two-way contract with the Rockets, averaging a career-high 18.2 points per game while adding 7.2 assists and 6.4 rebounds per game.

The Heat has no rights to Weber and he’s free to sign with an NBA team whenever he so chooses. Miami would have to free up a spot on its 15-man roster and then sign Weber to an NBA contract in order to call him up.

SHORTHANDED AGAIN

Despite being upgraded from doubtful to questionable when the team released its updated injury report on Sunday, Heat guards Goran Dragic (left knee bruise) and Tyler Johnson (left ankle sprain) were both ruled out for Monday’s game following morning shoot around.

“I don’t know about closer to a return, but both are definitely making progress,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said when asked if Dragic and Johnson would play Monday. “Both of them were able to do a little bit on the court this morning. They both were active yesterday. All of those signs are great. But they will not play tonight.”

Johnson has missed four straight games. Dragic has missed two games in a row after aggravating the bruise against Brooklyn on Friday.

▪ A day after watching his beloved Philadelphia Eagles punch their ticket to the Super Bowl, Dion Waiters had surgery on his troublesome left ankle out on the West Coast, the first step in what could be a long road back to the basketball court for the Heat’s starting shooting guard.

Waiters, who signed a four-year, $52 million deal with the Heat last summer, said in September that if he had surgery on his ankle it would require eight to 10 months of recovery, which would put him back tentatively for the start of next season. Monday, though, he wasn’t looking that far ahead just yet.

“To be continued!!!!!,” Waiters wrote as a caption below an Instagram photo of himself and a family member as he laid in a hospital bed Monday awaiting surgery. “Y’all [know] the motto MrBetOnYourSelfThenDoubleDown. Minor setback for a major comeback!!”

Waiters’ ankle has been an issue for the 25-year-old for almost a year. He missed the final 13 games of the 2016-17 season after spraining it on March 17 and then played through ankle tweaks early in the season before spraining it again early in the Heat’s win over the Dallas Mavericks on Dec. 22.

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