The offseason is well underway for the Los Angeles Lakers. The team has been focused on pre-draft workouts and their public comments have been very clear that the new front office is not looking for a big splash in free agency this summer.
However, that does not mean that the Lakers won’t be a player at all in the open market. In fact, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, they have their sights set on a particular shooting guard:
Though there had been some concern that Dion Waiters’ former agent, new Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka, might make a big offer for Waiters this summer, Lakers executive Magic Johnson – whose team has $23 million in cap space – told reporters: “I’m really looking to keep the cap space that we have and really try to play in next year’s free agent class, and not really this free agent class.”
The Heat wants to keep Waiters but doesn’t want to overpay.
Waiters had a great season in South Beach, scoring 15.8 points and dishing out 4.3 assists per game. In theory, he could be a great fit next to D’Angelo Russell (and Lonzo Ball if he is drafted as expected) in the backcourt. His ability as a shooter (39.5 percent from three last season) and his underrated work as a secondary playmaker make him an intriguing addition for LA.
Nevertheless, Waiters is going to make a lot of money this summer and it’s unclear if last season’s campaign was a mirage for a player who has often been criticized for his lack of focus. Waiters isn’t moving the needle much and if Jordan Clarkson is still on the team after the offseason, his role as a would-be sixth man would be redundant.
This could just be a case of Waiters’ agent trying to up his value so the Heat overpay to keep him. Waiters’ relationship with Pelinka and the Lakers’ penchant for overspending makes them the prime candidate for this kind of report. Nevertheless, it’s worth keeping an eye out on the Lakers’ alleged interest in signing the guard known as “Kobe Wade.”