Lakers to work out Dion Waiters, JR Smith
The Los Angeles Lakers may be looking to add some scoring for the playoff push in the form of a former LeBron James teammate.
ESPN’s Dave McMenamin and Adrian Wojnarowski report the Lakers plan to bring in former Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters for a workout on March 2. Additionally, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reports JR Smith will work out for the Lakers later this week as well. Smith has not played in the NBA since last season while Waiters played in three games with the Heat earlier in 2019-20.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 2, 2020
Smith teamed with James in Cleveland from 2014-18 and proved, at times, to be a critical piece for the Cavaliers in their run to The Finals each of those seasons. In Game 7 of the 2016 Finals, Smith finished with 12 points on 5-for-13 shooting (2-for-8 on 3-pointers) as Cleveland won the NBA title. Things went down hill for Smith after James left the Cavs to sign with the Lakers before the 2018-19 season.
He played in just 11 games that season and stepped away from the team in hopes of being traded or released. He was ultimately waived by the Cavs last summer and has been awaiting a new team since then.
Waiters last played on Jan. 28 of this season and has been dogged by poor conditioning and suspensions. He was dealt to Memphis as a part of the Andre Iguodala swap in early February, but was cut by the Grizzlies shortly thereafter. Oddly enough, Waiters was a part of the 2015 trade that brought Smith to Cleveland and sent Waiters to Oklahoma City for the next 1 1/2 seasons. After that, he signed with the Heat as a free agent in 2016 and had an up-and-down tenure with Miami.
There are significant ties between Waiters, James and the Lakers, per Wojnarowski and McMenamin. Waiters was a client of current Lakers GM Rob Pelinka back when he was an agent and is represented by Rich Paul of Klutch Sports — who also represents James and Lakers big man Anthony Davis. Per ESPN, the Lakers have been interested in acquiring another scoring playmaker for their second unit.
The Lakers are 46-13 and lead the Western Conference, holding a 5 1/2-game lead over the Denver Nuggets and LA Clippers.