Dion Waiters gets his shot at redemption with Lakers

It’s been a bumpy ride for Dion Waiters lately, but hopefully signing with the Los Angeles Lakers is the shot at redemption he needs.

Hello, haggard residents of Waiters Island! It’s been far too long. We know you’ve been starving, but we’re glad you’ve survived this long and we come bearing a brand new batch of provisions to sustain life around here for another few more months at least.

According to The Athletic‘s Shams Charania, free agent Dion Waiters has agreed to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers for the remainder of the season. He worked out for the team earlier this week and had productive conversations with Lakers brass about his role and their willingness to release him if he’s unable to fit in on a title contender.

The move reunites Waiters with his old Cleveland Cavaliers teammate LeBron James, and it gives the former No. 4 overall draft pick a much-needed shot at redemption.

Over the course of his eight-year NBA career, the Syracuse product has been criticized for a number of reasons — for his inefficient shooting, for his irrational confidence, for his attitude, for clapping for the ball while LeBron had it, for his conditioning and most recently, for consuming THC-infused edibles on a flight to play the Lakers that resulted in a panic attack and earned a 10-game suspension from the Miami Heat.

It’s hardly been a banner year for Waiters, between the weed gummies, showing up out of shape, being held out because of his conditioning, being suspended for Miami’s season opener due to conduct detrimental to the team and then earning another suspension (this time for six games) for calling in sick before posting a picture of himself celebrating his birthday on Instagram.

Those off-court issues and a lack of on-court production eventually led the Heat to ship him off to the Memphis Grizzlies in a three-team deal for Andre Iguodala. The Grizz waived Waiters three days later, and until the last few weeks there hadn’t been much chatter on potential suitors for the 28-year-old guard.

However, after the Lakers released Troy Daniels, there was an open roster spot. Waiters and J.R. Smith were the biggest names considered for the vacancy, and after an encouraging workout and conversations between the troubled free agent and the front office, it appears the Lakers will be moving forward with Waiters as their new bench scorer.

Waiters has only played three games this season, averaging 9.3 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. He’s only shot 38.5 percent from the floor, but did make eight of his 17 3-point attempts (47.1 percent). Coming off a season in which he made 37.7 percent of his 3s, he should be able to help spread the floor for the Lakers when he’s on the court.

Los Angeles ranks 16th in 3-point percentage, so hopefully he’ll be able to boost the league’s ninth-highest scoring bench in that regard. During his time in Miami and with the Oklahoma City Thunder, he’s also shown his length can be an asset on the defensive end when he’s truly locked in on a playoff team.

That will have to be the case in L.A., since the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference will have no time for his antics if he starts acting up or is unable to perform on the court. It’s been a bumpy, injury-ridden, circus-like ride for Dion Waiters over the last few seasons. Even if he’s only around for a couple months, here’s hoping this is the shot at redemption he and the inhabitants of Waiters Island been waiting for.

Next: 5 lingering injuries that could impact NBA playoffs

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