Dion Waiters Is Worth the Risk for the Lakers
Dion Waiters has agreed to a deal to join the Los Angeles Lakers for the rest of the season. Given his offensive prowess when he's properly motivated, the addition of his personality to the locker room is worth the risk for the Lakers.
Waiters worked out for the Lakers earlier in the week and the team came to an agreement with his agent, Rich Paul. Paul obviously has a number of high-profile players on the team already, with LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope topping the list. But there's more to this move than just adding another client of Paul's.
The Lakers have struggled offensively all season when James has gone to the bench. They needed another playmaker on the second unit who could make things happen. If Waiters is focused, he could be that guy. He's also a decent 3-point shooter (shot 37.7 percent last season and 39.5 percent during 2016-17 campaign) and can finish at the rim.
Obviously Waiters was a problem for the Miami Heat this season. He was suspended from their opening game for "conduct detrimental to the team" and was later suspended 10 games for over-consumption of THC-infused edibles. He was suspended again in December for claiming he was sick when he was actually partying on a boat. That's all a legitimate concern for the Lakers.
It's worth noting that James played with Waiters during the 2014-15 season with the Cleveland Cavaliers before Waiters got dealt to the Oklahoma City Thunder. James knows him and knows his game. There's no way he wasn't consulted on this decision.
The issue with Waiters has never been talent, it's been his commitment on the court. Given that he's on a minimum contract for the rest of the year, he's likely worth the gamble.