After news broke that Darren Collison won’t be coming out of retirement to play in the NBA again, the Los Angeles Lakers had to move forward with a different plan to fill their need for another ball-handling guard on their roster. That plan could be Dion Waiters, according to a report by Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst of ESPN. Yes, That Dion Waiters.
Here are the full details of the report:
In the near future, the Lakers are expected to have an exploratory conversation with Dion Waiters, league sources said. Lakers president and GM Rob Pelinka previously represented Waiters as a player agent.
The Lakers are canvassing the league for a playmaking guard and considering several possibilities, which include waiting to see who else might become available in the buyout marketplace. As the Lakers had with free agent Dwight Howard, there needs to be a feeling-out process on Waiters’ state of mind after the tumultuous ending to his Miami Heat career, the sources said.
Waiters — the No. 4 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft — was waived by the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday, days after being traded by the Miami Heat. Waiters appeared in just three games for the Heat this season, in large part due to the fact that he was suspended by the team three times, including a 10-game suspension for reportedly eating THC-infused edibles on a team flight. He was also suspended for posting a picture on a boat after telling the Heat he was ill.
That kind of behavior is enough to keep a player out of the league for at least the rest of the season, but as the ESPN report notes, Waiters has one important connection to the Lakers’ front office: Rob Pelinka, who used to serve as his agent. Waiters is now represented by Klutch Sports, the same agency that represents Anthony Davis, LeBron James and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Waiters has enough people within the organization to vouch for him, but he has to hold up his end of the bargain. Assuming he can clear that hurdle, Waiters would have to show he can help the Lakers in a meaningful way. After all, they’ve have to waive someone to sign him.
Waiters has averaged 13.2 points on 41.2% shooting from the field, including 34.8% from the field, over the course of his seven-year career. Waiters is 28 years old.