The Los Angeles Lakers still have the best record in the Western Conference, but they’re 6-5 over their last 11 games — outside the top 10 in both offense and defense over that stretch — and haven’t looked their best in a while now.
They looked for reinforcements at the trade deadline. They wanted Marcus Morris but lost him to the Clippers. They wanted Andre Iguodala but lost him to the Heat. They inquired about OKC’s Dennis Schroder but got nowhere. They were a leading candidate to sign Darren Collison, but he decided to stay retired.
With the trade deadline having passed, it’s on to the buyout market. On Sunday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst reported the Lakers are expected to talk with Dion Waiters, who was recently bought out by the Grizzlies after being traded from Miami in the Iguodala deal.
The Lakers have three main areas of need: A defensive 3-man who can feasibly guard elite wing scorers such as Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, 3-point shooting and additional playmaking. Waiters, in theory, can provide help in the latter two areas. When he’s hot, he can certainly help a team score off the bench. When he’s not, he can kill an offense. He’s an absolute wild card.
Waiters played only three games for the Heat this season after being suspended for something or another every time you turned around, but in those three games he was 10 for 26 from three for a 47-percent mark. Last season, Waiters shot 37 percent from three over 44 games.