Dion Waiters is just 29 years old and fresh off winning his first NBA title. However, the former Los Angeles Lakers guard is considering calling it quits as a professional basketball player, per some comments he made on a recent Instagram Live session.
Waiters made the reveal while showing off his championship ring, which the Lakers sent to him after their ring ceremony on opening night of the NBA season last week.
“They think I’m playing. I been contemplating it though—about retiring,” Waiters said. “It’s the politics for me. Game-wise, we know what’s up. I just can’t do the politics, man. We ain’t going over that water. I’ll retire before that.”
The NBA for the former No. 4 overall pick in the 2012 draft out of Syracuse, but he added a nice line to his resume by winning a championship last year with the Lakers in the bubble. Waiters played in seven regular-season games, averaging 11.9 points and still looking like he was capable of being a contributor on an NBA roster. His playing time dipped in the playoffs as the Lakers tightened their rotation, playing just 7.6 minutes and averaging 2 points.
He has averaged 13.1 points for his career with the Cavaliers, Thunder, Heat and Lakers. Waiters hit a real rough patch last season with Miami, getting suspended for various incidents, the most notable being an incident with a THC edible. Waiters addressed the infamous moment during the hiatus in a Players’ Tribune article.
“The plane incident in Miami? It’s on me. I own that. It was idiotic on my behalf — point-blank, period. What’s crazy is, my whole life I been a leader,” Waiters wrote. “I’m not a follower. Pat [Riley] knows me. He knows I don’t do drugs. But sometimes when you’re going through dark times, you can fall trap to things you’d never do in your right mind.”
Dion Waiters Not Drawing Much Interest
While Waiters was a key addition late in the year to a Lakers team that was in much need of guard depth and ball-handling, he hasn’t received much attention as a free agent this season. Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel this season could play out similar to last for Waiters in terms of being a late pick-up for a team.
“More likely to be added during the course of the season than into an already crowded training camp,” Winderman wrote. “It could wind up playing out as it did last season, with Dion Waiters and J.R. Smith as the emergency scorers to be named later by some deficient team.”
Waiters comes with some baggage, but proved with the Lakers that he can fit into an organization and be a valued teammate in the right situation.
Lakers Looking to Extend Dennis Schroder
The Lakers made a big splash this offseason, trading for former Thunder guard Dennis Schroder this offseason. The Lakers have liked what they’ve seen from Schroder and have already started contract extension talks with him.
Schroder already turned down an initial Lakers offer to extend his contract for an additional two years and $33.4 million, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. However, that number represented the maximum allowable offer the Lakers could make to him prior to Feb. 16, so the move was more of a show of good faith than anything, similar to what happened with Anthony Davis last season.
Adding Schroder for the long-term is something Davis could get behind.
“From what I see, he likes it here so far. That’d be great to lock him in for the next couple years,” Davis said Saturday, via Ryan Ward.