Lakers Rumors: LA Considering Dion Waiters Contract Offer Following Meeting

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IFebruary 24, 2020

MIAMI, FLORIDA - JANUARY 24:  Dion Waiters #11 of the Miami Heat in action against the LA Clippers during the first half at American Airlines Arena on January 24, 2020 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Dion Waiters could leap from having no team at all to joining the Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst disclosed on The Hoop Collective podcast that the Lakers are "going to give Dion a look," as the 28-year-old guard is represented by LeBron James' close friend and agent, Rich Paul (h/t RealGM): 

"I don't know if Dion Waiters is an answer. They're going to give Dion a look. They had a meeting with him last week. I expect they will have a workout with him in the short-term and see what kind of condition he's in. They're mulling it over and it's because they need some sort of perimeter player who can score a little bit. 

[...]

"Dion doesn't just have to convince the Lakers. He has to convince LeBron."

Waiters was dealt from the Miami Heat to the Memphis Grizzlies as part of the three-team trade that landed the Heat veteran three-time NBA champion Andre Iguodala. Waiters was then waived by the Grizzlies on Feb. 9.

The 2012 fourth overall pick has only played in three games in 2019-20—all with the Heat in January—but it has been an eventful season away from the court.

Waiters served three separate suspensions with Miami, totaling 17 games. 

The Heat suspended Waiters for the regular-season opener for detrimental conduct. "There were a number of unacceptable incidents this week, culminating with his unprofessional conduct on the bench last night," team president Pat Riley said in a statement. 

The Miami Herald's Barry Jackson provided more context: 

"During the preseason game against Houston last Friday, Waiters was complaining aloud about Erik Spoelstra and not getting a chance to play more, clearly within earshot of coaches and players. And besides his behavior on the bench, a source with direct knowledge said Waiters also did not agree to do one mandatory weigh-in last week, angering Heat officials."

Waiters' second suspension was for 10 games and announced on Nov. 10 following a "'panic attack' on the team's charter flight [Nov. 7] after consuming a THC-infused edible," as ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Windhorst reported.

Woj and Windhorst added: "Waiters missed the game in Phoenix because of a stomach ache and was seeking relief when he took an edible he was unfamiliar with, sources said. League rules prohibit the use of THC, one of the main compounds in cannabis."

Waiters was suspended once more for six games in mid-December for at least in part, Jackson reported, posting "Instagram pictures of himself on a boat during a period last week when he told the team he was unable to practice or play because of an illness."

Waiters made his regular-season debut on Jan. 24. He recorded 14 points, four rebounds, two blocks and an assists in 18 minutes in a 122-117 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. He last played in a 109-101 loss to Boston on Jan. 28. 

The Syracuse product has some history with James. The two played together with the Cleveland Cavaliers for part of the 2014-15 season before the Cavs traded Waiters to the Oklahoma City Thunder in January 2015. Waiters spent the remainder of that season as well as the 2015-16 campaign with the Thunder before landing in Miami. 

From the Lakers' standpoint, they have seen one risky signing pay off in veteran center Dwight Howard. The team waived All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins, who is still recovering from a torn ACL suffered last August, over the weekend to make room to sign forward Markieff Morris.

At 43-12, L.A. is far from desperate for pieces. However, with free-agent guard J.R. Smith also linked as a potential addition, the Lakers are clearly in the market for bolstering their roster for a deep postseason run.

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