The Los Angeles Lakers were one of the few teams that were quiet once NBA free agency got underway on July 1. Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka had let it be known they wouldn’t be pursuing big-name players this summer and want to bring in one or two free agents on short-term deals. Dion Waiters may be one of the players the team has targeted.
According to Mike Scotto of Basketball Insiders, the Lakers brass have scheduled a meeting with Waiters on Sunday night:
Los Angeles Lakers have a meeting with free agent guard Dion Waiters tonight, a league source told Basketball Insiders.
— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) July 3, 2017
With a surplus of players in the frontcourt, the Lakers appear to be going after free agents to address needs in the backcourt. The team is said to be looking for shooters to surround Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram.
The Miami Heat failed to live up to expectations during the first half of the 2016-17 NBA season. The team was never able to put it together despite having a talented roster, but then things quickly turned around as they won 30 of their last 41 games.
Waiters played a big role in the Heat’s resurgence and now is looking to get paid for his efforts. The 25-year-old guard averaged 15.8 points, 4.3 assists, and 3.3 rebounds per game for Miami while shooting 42.4 percent from the floor and a career-high 39.5 percent from three-point range.
The former Syracuse star would be a welcome addition to the Lakers roster as he can create his own shot while also being a threat from outside. The real question is whether the Lakers are willing to pay his asking price.
Fortunately for the Lakers, Waiters is a former client of Pelinka’s. That could give them a slight edge, especially with the Heat currently putting all their efforts into trying to sign Gordon Hayward.