After weeks of talk about a potential move for the Los Angeles Lakers to sign Dion Waiters, J.R. Smith or someone else, the team has finally made a decision. According to Shams Charania, Los Angeles has inked a deal with Waiters for the rest of the season.
Waiters was most recently a member of the Memphis Grizzlies after he was traded from the Miami Heat earlier in the season. He never played a game with Memphis and was quickly waived. A number of personal issues have hampered what should’ve been a promising career.
Waiters Was a High Draft Pick & Has Played With Lebron
Waiters cames into the NBA as the fourth overall pick in the 2012 draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers. He showed promise as a scorer early on but things started to go downhill once LeBron James came back to Cleveland. The two didn’t play well together and Waiters didn’t last long and was eventually traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
He’ll now get another chance to prove himself to LeBron and there’s no doubt the Lakers star had a say on whether or not the team was going to sign him. There has been talk that Waiters had to convince LeBron if the Lakers were going to sign him and it looks like he did. He’s certainly been humbled over the last few years and his role with the team likely be very small. That said, Waiters will have a chance to have a big role in the team’s second unit, but he’s going to have to earn it. He isn’t exactly what the Lakers needed, but he is capable of putting up some points. It’ll be fascinating to see how he gels with this current squad.
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Lakers Can Let Waiters Go If There Are Issues
While it may seem risky for the Lakers to bring in a player who could be potentially volatile, there actually won’t be much risk involved. Charania is reporting that Los Angeles can release him should any problems arise.
The onus will now be on Waiters to prove that he can stay out of trouble. He’s had a number of run-ins in the past that would suggest he could cause issues. He was suspended early this season by the Miami Heat because of issues he was having with the team. That wasn’t very long ago, so it’s easy to imagine he hasn’t changed much. The issues with the Heat were far from his first as he’s been busted for THC use previously, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Waiters reportedly impressed the Lakers in interviews and workouts, so he must’ve convinced them that his head is on straight. If he can stay out of trouble, he can definitely be an impact player for this team as they need more scoring off their bench. Los Angeles’ team chemistry is off the charts and there are many veteran leaders on the squad. If Waiters can’t make it work with this team, he probably will never make it work.