Hassan Whiteside ‘very confident’ Waiters Returns to HEAT

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Whiteside said he has been in constant contact with teammates, especially those who face the possibility of leaving via trade or free agency. He feels “very confident” forward James Johnson and guards Goran Dragic and Dion Waiters will be back next season. All played key roles in the Heat going from an 11-30 start to narrowly missing the postseason.

Waiters and Johnson become free agents July 1 while Dragic is constantly mentioned in trade rumors.

“I’m not even thinking about them being gone,” Whiteside said. “I’m thinking like they will be here next year.”

If the core returns, Whiteside believes the Heat can contend in the Eastern Conference. They played the second half of the season without forward Justise Winslow, who underwent shoulder surgery in January, and lost several players to injuries throughout the year.

Source: Shandel Richardson and Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel