Last week, during TNT’s broadcast of the heavyweight fight between the Los Angeles Lakers and the New Orleans Pelicans, sideline analyst Chris Haynes reported that the Lakers had scheduled a meeting with free agent guard Dion Waiters for March 1. Coincidentally, during Sunday’s ESPN broadcast of Lakers-Pelicans, we got another update on Waiters, and it sounds like he’ll be doing more than talking for the team’s front office.
According to a report Adrian Wojnarowski and Dave McMenamin of ESPN, the Lakers are inviting Waiters in for a workout on Monday. Here are the full details, per the report:
The Lakers had been planning to meet with Waiters to gather an understanding of his preparedness to contribute to a championship contender.
The Lakers waived guard Troy Daniels on Sunday, clearing a roster spot that the organization is in no rush to fill. There is expected to be a significant vetting process with Waiters, whose career took a downturn in the past year with the Miami Heat.
That “vetting process” began earlier this month, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, who reported that the Lakers have already met with Waiters once. So, one could assume that, if Waiters is getting a workout, the Lakers are more concerned about what Waiters can offer them on the court than the potential problems he presents off of it. For both parties involved, that’s a promising sign.
However, even if Waiters crushes his workout, it doesn’t sound like the Lakers feel pressured to fill that final roster spot immediately. That leaves hope for other players that the Lakers have been linked to in recent weeks like J.R. Smith, who is also expected to get a private workout with the team. Smith and Waiters are both represented by Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, who also represents LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Talen Horton-Tucker. Waiters might have the upper hand, though, because the Lakers’ general manager, Rob Pelinka, used to represent Waiters when he was an agent.
Whatever decision the Lakers come to, expect them to take their time with it. They have until the last day of the NBA regular season — April 15 — to add a player to their roster.
Who do you think the final roster spot should go to? Let us know in the comments below, and more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @RadRivas.