The Los Angeles Lakers are fresh off a major roster move that saw them part ways with injury-plagued former All-NBA center DeMarcus Cousins, allowing them to acquire former Detroit Pistons forward Markieff Morris. However, they may not be done just yet with the buyout market, as shooting guard Dion Waiters — who has been linked to the team on multiple occasions — is reportedly expected to meet with Lakers officials next week.
As reported by SB Nation’s Silver Screen and Roll, TNT sideline reporter Chris Haynes — who also writes for Yahoo Sports — provided the latest update on Waiters during the Lakers’ game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night. According to Haynes, who cited unnamed league sources for his information, team officials are planning to meet with the 28-year-old guard on Monday, March 2.
“There is some familiarity with the Lakers and Dion,” he added. “Dion used to be repped by Rob Pelinka, the General Manager and President of the Lakers, so, there’s that, and LeBron James also played with Dion in Cleveland.”
Analyzing the timing of the rumored meeting, Silver Screen and Roll noted that Los Angeles might have scheduled it on the aforementioned date because March 1 is the deadline for acquiring a player via the buyout market and allowing him to remain eligible for playoff action. As such, the Lakers could potentially use the next few days to pursue other players before moving on to Waiters, who was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies ahead of the February 6 deadline, just three days before he was bought out of his contract.
???? DION WAITERS SEASON DEBUT!
14 PTS in 18 MINS
5-12 FG (4-9 3PT)
4 REB, 2 BLKpic.twitter.com/KEgzqDkwsl
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) January 25, 2020
“If a player they like more than Waiters doesn’t become available before the deadline, then the Lakers already have a meeting with a player they like for the next day,” the publication elaborated. “If another player they value more does get unexpectedly bought out or cut by their team, then at least they didn’t risk committing too early.”
According to his Basketball-Reference player page, Waiters has career averages of 13.2 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game in eight NBA seasons. While a productive player for the Miami Heat prior to his brief move to Memphis, the former No. 4 overall draft pick has been limited to just three games this season amid multiple controversies.
As the Lakers currently have a full 15-player roster, signing Waiters would force them to let go of one of their players, much like they waived Cousins in order to sign Morris over the weekend. Silver Screen and Roll speculated that the most likely player to be released in such a situation would be reserve guard/forward Troy Daniels, but added that it’s also possible the team might “surprise” pundits by letting go of a far more prominent player. The outlet likewise suggested that Los Angeles might simply choose to leave its roster as it is and continue their championship quest without any further additions or subtractions.