Former Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters has agreed to a deal with the Los Angeles Lakers for the remainder of the season, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reports.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the deal is for the NBA minimum. Waiters will take up the Lakers’ final open roster spot.
The eight-year NBA veteran played most recently for the Miami Heat, who traded him to the Memphis Grizzlies as part of the deadline deal involving Justise Winslow and Andre Iguodala. Waiters never played for the Grizzlies, who released him on Feb. 9 after the trade, making him a free agent.
Waiters’ troubles in Miami
Waiters, 28, played in just three games with the Heat this season as he served three suspensions handed down by the team.
The Heat suspended him on Dec. 12, citing “failure to adhere to team policies, violation of team rules and continued insubordination.” He was also suspended at the beginning of the season for complaining about his role during the preseason and again in November after he reportedly ate a THC-laced gummy candy and had a panic attack on a team flight.
What he brings to the Lakers
Waiters has averaged 13.2 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists while shooting 34.8 percent from 3-point distance over the course of his career. If he can stay on the court, he’ll provide the Lakers with a scoring threat as they look to surround LeBron James and Anthony Davis with shooters.
Besides his suspensions, Waiters had trouble remaining on the court in his three previous seasons in Miami, where he never played more than 46 games in a season. He drew criticism for gaining weight after signing a four-year $52 million deal with the Heat in 2017 and was also troubled by nagging foot and ankle injuries.
Charania reports that the Lakers made clear in discussions with Waiters’ agent Rich Paul that they reserve the option to release him if things don’t work out.
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