The Los Angeles Lakers are signing free agent guard Dion Waiters for the remainder of the season, a person familiar with the deal confirmed to USA TODAY Sports. The person was granted anonymity because he was not authorized to share the news before it was announced.
The Lakers are intrigued with Waiters’ potential as a scorer and defender after recently hosting him for a workout, said the person familiar with the Lakers’ thinking. But the person added the Lakers also talked with Waiters extensively about the need to remain professional on and off the court after the Miami Heat dealt him before the NBA trade deadline to the Memphis Grizzlies before getting subsequently waived.
A contract is expected to be signed soon. While the deal is for the rest of the season, it does not prevent the Lakers from waiving Waiters if things don't work out.
Waiters appeared in just three games for the Heat this season after a disappointing stint in Miami. The Heat suspended Waiters three times this season, including one for an incident with a THC-infused edible on a team flight in November.
Waiters and Lakers star LeBron James share the same agent, Rich Paul, and Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka was Waiters' agent before joining the L.A. front office.
Waiters has averaged 13.2 points in his eight-year career, and the Lakers are hoping he can provide an offensive lift off the bench, especially when James is not on the court. He has played in just 123 games over the last four seasons, but he averaged 15.8 points and shot 39.5% on 3-pointers in 2016-17.
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