The Los Angeles Lakers signed Dion Waiters to a deal yesterday following his buyout from the Miami Heat. The team had to release Troy Daniels to do so, as their roster was full prior to the Waiters signing. They’re now back to a full roster after working out both Dion Waiters and J.R. Smith on Monday of this week. However, they may be close to releasing another player, as Shams Charania of The Athletic is reporting that the Lakers may not be done making late-season adjustments to their roster.
After reaching an agreement to sign Dion Waiters, the Lakers continue to monitor the market for a shooter, such as J.R. Smith, sources say. Smith worked out for the Lakers on Monday, according to sources. L.A. would need to release someone to create roster space for Smith.
At the time of Waiters’ signing, it was sort of assumed that the Lakers would be done making moves as the resulting releases of DeMarcus Cousins and Troy Daniels (for Markieff Morris and Dion Waiters) were easy to make as both players weren’t going to factor into possible playoff lineups for the Lakers. The decision between Waiters and J.R. Smith was an interesting one, as both were seemingly being courted for their offense, while their offensive profiles were pretty different. Waiters is a point guard who can drive and create opportunities for himself or others with those drives, while Smith is pretty locked into the role of being a guy who can run around screens and get into position for threes.
From Charania’s report, it seems as though the Lakers may want to fill both roles instead of just one. Smith would be the easiest signing, as the Lakers have already met with him to see him work out. The Lakers could possibly bring in other possible shooters to work out. Although the Lakers’ offensive identity is that of a team who gets it done in the paint, more three-point shooting can’t hurt. They’re currently ranked 15th in the league in 3P% at 35.9% and rank 21st in the league in total three-pointers made per game at 11.2.
We’ll be sure to keep you updated on the Lakers’ status with J.R. Smith, as well as if they are reportedly connected to any other free agents. If the Lakers were to sign a new player, Quinn Cook seems to be the most likely player who would be released.