The Los Angeles Lakers are still guard shopping – do Dion Waiters or J.R. Smith fit?
Complacency is the enemy of success.
And no NBA franchise loves success more than the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Los Angeles Lakers will work out free agent guard Dion Waiters on Monday, sources tell me and @wojespn. Waiters has career averages of 13.2 points and 2.8 assists in Cleveland, OKC and Miami. LAL opened up a roster spot by waiving guard Troy Daniels on Sunday.Article continues below ...
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) March 2, 2020
That’s not the only new, old face that was in the Lakers’ offices on Monday.
Was told in addition to Dion Waiters, JR Smith worked out for the Lakers today. His familiarity w/ LeBron and his shooting ability are seen as pluses. The Lakers are in no rush, though, and might bring in others. They have one vacant roster spot after waiving Troy Daniels.
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) March 2, 2020
The Lakers are the best team in the Western Conference and the second best team in the league, but clearly, they don’t feel like standing pat.
But is taking a flier on the talented, yet mercurial Waiters really the answer in LA? Or is Smith – mercurial in his own right – a better fit to push the Lakers over the top?
"I'm told Waiters owned up to his mistakes and errors in Miami"
— Stadium (@Stadium) March 3, 2020
Waiters had a rough time in Miami earlier this season. He was suspended for ‘conduct detrimental to team’ on opening night in October.
Then, in November, an incident on the Miami team plane led to a 10-game suspension.
Dion Waiters reportedly had an adverse reaction to an edible infused with THC and suffered a panic attack on the team charter flight. https://t.co/XQPcJci179
— USA TODAY Sports (@usatodaysports) November 10, 2019
The following month, Waiters was suspended once again – this time for six games – after calling in sick to work, only to not actually be sick.
Heat suspended Dion Waiters because he called out sick, then posted a picture of himself on a boat, per reporthttps://t.co/IMXymYDguj
— CBS Sports NBA (@CBSSportsNBA) December 16, 2019
He was traded in early February.
Miami has agreed to trade Justise Winslow, Dion Waiters and James Johnson to Memphis for Andre Iguodala, Solomon Hill and Jae Crowder, league sources tell ESPN. No picks in the deal.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 6, 2020
Presumably, Waiters would be a gamble for the Lakers and their chemistry, but he seemed to leave La-La Land on good terms Monday.
Lakers have completed workout with free agent Dion Waiters and he had an impressive showing, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. Next portion of Waiters' visit to the Lakers: Meeting with Frank Vogel, Rob Pelinka and Kurt Rambis.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 2, 2020
Smith, who has had his issues in the past as well, is another option for LA, and his angle is familiarity playing alongside LeBron in meaningful games.
Don’t think of this image:
Think of this one:
Awwwww. Brotherly love.
"KCP, AD, Morris, Caruso, Kuzma combined [have played] 0 career Conference Finals games or further. … I would trust J.R. Smith if he had to play 7 minutes in a critical playoff game." — @getnickwright pic.twitter.com/WMqUGdXJMF
— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) March 3, 2020
Smith hasn’t played since July of 2019, but his experience – even at age 34 – could still be considered valuable.
It’s not imminent that the Lakers sign either Waiters or Smith or anyone. But a week after bringing another Morris twin to Los Angeles…
OFFICIAL: The Lakers have signed Markieff Morris.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) February 24, 2020
…it’s become evident that the Lakers believe they are in-need of evolution.
We’ll see which former LeBron teammate can potentially help them remain LA’s best team.
— The Association on FOX (@TheAssociation) March 3, 2020