The Los Angeles Lakers are moving on from Darren Collison to another veteran guard.
After being rebuffed in their attempt to sign the retired point guard, the Lakers are now focusing their attention on Dion Waiters. According to Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst of ESPN, the Lakers will now have “exploratory talks” with Waiters.
The 28-year-old was recently waived by the Memphis Grizzlies after being acquired by the team in a multi-team trade with the Miami Heat centered around Andre Iguodala.
Waiters’ Rough Recent History With Heat
Waiters has had a rough start to the 2019-20 season. He appeared to be in the team’s doghouse after being suspended for the season opener due to “conduct detrimental to the team.” The trouble off of the court didn’t stop there as Waiters missed a game against the Lakers due to a panic attack he experienced while flying to the game.
The panic attack was as a result of THC-infused edibles. He was then suspended another 10 games by the team for the incident.
He was then suspended another six games for calling into work with an illness. The problem is, he posted a picture of himself on his Instagram page on a boat celebrating his birthday — when he was supposed to have an illness.
It was only recently that Waiters made his debut on Jan. 24 in a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.
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How Waiters Fits With Lakers
The bottom line is, the Lakers are desperate for help. Especially when it comes to a playmaker or scorer — which they desperately need outside of LeBron James.
The Lakers lost out in the race for a trade for the highly coveted Marcus Morris, who ended up being traded to the Clippers. It was figured that the Lakers had Collison in their grasp, with the former point guard recently attending a Lakers game with team president Jeanie Buss. However, the 32-year-old has opted to stay retired instead.
The Purple and Gold are currently trying to compete with the Clippers for supremacy in the Western Conference. While they currently hold a three-game lead over the Clippers for first in the West, they’ve still lost both games to the team this season.
With Waiters in the picture, they bring in a guy capable of creating his own shot on the second unit. The former No. 4 overall draft pick has averaged 13.2 points per game during his career and actually has experience playing with James. Waiters played 33 games for the 2014-15 Cleveland Cavaliers before he was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
During that 33-game stint, Waiters averaged 10.5 points per game. He also averaged a career-high 15.9 points per game during the 2013-14 campaign.
The eighth-year Waiters may not be perfect — his recent history with the Heat shows that — but considering the Lakers need short-term immediate help, the 6-foot-3 Waiters may be their best option.
We’ll see if the Lakers advance past “exploratory talks” with Waiters moving forward.