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J.R. Smith, Dion Waiters reportedly impress in first workouts with Lakers

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In addition to Dion Waiters, J.R. Smith also worked out for the Lakers today. It sounds like the front office sees the merits of both players, but isn’t in a rush to make their choice.

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Cleveland Cavaliers v New York Knicks Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers invited free agent guard Dion Waiters for a workout on Monday morning, and according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, things went well pretty well for the 28-year-old journeyman. However, Waiters wasn’t the only one that got to try out for the Lakers on Monday morning.

According to Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times, free agent guard J.R. Smith also worked out for the Lakers.

Smith was expected to get a workout with the Lakers at some point, which there was some uncertainty about after Smith publicly said that no one from the team had reached out to him. Smith and Waiters are both represented by Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, who also represents Lakers players LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Talen Horton-Tucker. Additionally, Waiters was represented by Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka when Pelinka was still an agent.

Unfortunately for Smith and Waiters, the Lakers currently only have one roster spot available. That could theoretically change if the front office is sold that adding both of them would make the team the unanimous favorites to win the title, but unless Smith has tapped into his full potential since he last played in November of 2018 and Waiters has drastically improved since January, that’s unlikely.

The difference between whether Waiters or Smith makes the roster is dependent on what the Lakers think they need. If they value ballhandling and shot creation, Waiters will have the slight edge because he’s better-equipped to play both guard positions. If the Lakers still feel like they need more 3-point shooting after adding Markieff Morris, than Smith, who’s ranked 13th on the all-time 3-point field goal list, will almost certainly get the spot. The fact that he played in four consecutive NBA Finals in the last five years (alongside LeBron James) probably doesn’t hurt his case, either.

Whatever decision the front office comes to, it sounds like they’re going to take their time with it, so don’t expect an update tonight. If there is one, though, we’ll keep you covered.

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