Free agent guard Dion Waiters is reportedly meeting with the Los Angeles Lakers for the second time on March 2nd (3rd in Manila time). The two parties were rumored to have already met during the All-Star break.
TNT’s Chris Haynes shared the report during Wednesday’s 118-109 primetime game win against the New Orleans Pelicans:
“League sources have told me that free agent guard Dion Waiters will meet with the Lakers on March the 2nd. There is some familiarity with the Lakers and Dion. Dion used to be repped by Rob Pelinka, the General Manager and President of the Lakers, so, there’s that, and LeBron James also played with Dion in Cleveland”Chris Haynes
Waiters, who joined the Miami Heat in 2016, was involved in a packaged deal earlier this month that sent him and others to the Memphis Grizzlies for Andre Iguodala, Jae Crowder, and Solomon Hill. He was subsequently waived.
Though he boasted a solid 2016-17 campaign, where he became a key figure in igniting an unprecedented 30-11 stretch from a re-building, Dwyane Wade-less Heat team, his time in Miami was mostly hampered by injuries. In three full seasons with the team, Waiters never played more than 46 games.
He then had a rocky path going into the 2019-20 season as he constantly butt heads with the team management, culminating in a now infamous incident where he, in the middle of a team flight, allegedly had a panic attack after taking weed-induced gummy bears. Yes. That happened.
Prior to getting traded and waived, Dion only appeared in three Heat games this season. He averaged 9.3 points in 14.0 minutes of action.
How can he help the Lakers?
While troubles and distractions seem inevitable, there is no denying Waiters’s talent. The seven-year vet can score inside and out, bully guards in the paint with his bulky frame, and provide timely baskets whenever he gets it going. In that aforementioned Heat surge, Dion compiled a 21-game run that saw him post 19.6 points and 5.1 assists per game.
The Lakers are doing well this season. They are ahead of everyone in the West with a 44-12 record thanks to the leadership of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and the supporting cast soundly playing their respective roles.
What the Lake Show needs, however, is an added alpha on offense – someone who can relentlessly and confidently create his own scoring opportunities outside of getting set up by LeBron or receiving kick-outs from AD. It is a much-needed counter for the LA Clippers, who bolstered their depth further by adding Marcus Morris and Reggie Jackson.
The recent singing of Marcus’s twin brother, Markieff, is good and he can be expected to contribute, but like others, ‘Kieff thrives more on mid-range and outside shots.
Concerns on his relationship with LeBron
The one concern among fans is Dion’s relationship with LeBron. The two were teammates for the first half of the 2014-15 season as he got traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder during the trade deadline. Along with a rumoured feud with Kyrie Irving, Waiters was reportedly frustrated about not getting the ball more – he did have to share the rock with LeBron, Kyrie, and Kevin Love.
When asked about his time with LeBron, though, Dion was all praise about The King’s professionalism and basketball IQ:
We’ll see how the talks go. The coming week should be interesting for Laker fans.