Dion Waiters deal signals the end of 2016 free agency money grab

When you’re a kind on Halloween, you go out whenever dusk starts to set in and bang on doors using code words for free candy and go on your merry way with every house that has a porch light on.

For the most part, you go around a neighborhood or a general area until at some point, you start noticing the porch lights that are on inviting free candy poachers become more and more scarce. Eventually, you give up, because there’s nothing else left short of desperately walking aimlessly, looking for still lit porch lights hoping they’re on for candy.

Well, NBA free agency kids, the lights are off. Dion Waiters just confirmed it.

Waiters, who entered the off season in a climate where guys like Dwight Powell can get over $9 million per year and probably expected to get near double that, waved the white flag on the fun by signing a 1-year, $2.9 million deal with the Miami Heat.

This is a pretty obvious move on his part.

The money will be stout next off season too, and even though the class is expected to be pretty good as well, if this year proves anything, it’s that teams will toss money at their needs.

Waiters can go to Miami while that outfit gets run into a top five lottery pick and score 20 per game, ostensibly raising his stock and getting someone to bite next summer.

Since the frenzied first week and a half of July when everyone was playing with Monopoly money, the free agency waters have cooled as legitimate talent looks like it may have bought a ticket for a boat that’s already sailed.

That’s okay, though, for both parties. For guys like Lance Stephenson and Ty Lawson (examples), they can cut one-year deals, bet on themselves, and still get a massive pay day next year.  For teams, you can understand the allure in grabbing talent with questions but only on short deals like Waiters signed with the payoff that it might lead to a key cog in winning next year or if it flames out, a project you can set on fire by February.

The risk is high, too. The player gets hurt, the stock drops. The player excels and is a key part in a playoff run, the price goes up and he’s gone.

But make no mistake, free agency for the most part is dead, gone, and over for 2016. Waiters is worth more than 1-year, $2.9 million. But the market is soft, he’s young without the worry of ring chasing squeezing down on his soul, and Miami promises possible looter in a riot type of stats.

It’s a candle that burns at both ends, with all the piles of money in the middle.

From here on out, look for sleepy, sneaky deals that work for both sides. If you’re a good team looking for a few parts to tighten up a run, now is the time. Waiters has set the market. May next year be similarly as entertaining, as this one ends.