Even after reaching an agreement to have Dion Waiters fill their 15th roster spot, the Lakers continue to monitor the free agent market in search of shooting help, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. J.R. Smith, who worked out for the team on Monday, is one of the players Los Angeles is keeping an eye on, says Charania.
The Lakers have been an average outside shooting team this season, ranking 15th in three-point percentage (35.9%) and 21st in made threes per game (11.2). Waiters, who has knocked down 36.8% of his threes since he arrived in Miami in 2016/17, may help improve the team’s shot-making off the bench. However, the Lakers apparently aren’t satisfied to simply add Waiters and call it a day — they’ll continue to consider possible upgrades.
Having already waived DeMarcus Cousins and Troy Daniels, the Lakers don’t have many more expendable players on their roster to cut for a new addition. Jared Dudley and Quinn Cook are probably the club’s most likely release candidates, though Dudley is considered a good locker-room presence and Cook has a small partial guarantee ($1MM) on his 2020/21 salary.
Of course, Charania also tweeted on Thursday that the Lakers would be open to the idea of releasing Waiters if things don’t work out between the two sides in the coming weeks.
Other shooters on the free agent market include Allen Crabbe, Ryan Broekhoff, Jamal Crawford, and Ryan Anderson, but not all of those players will fit the mold of what the Lakers are looking for. Smith’s connections – he’s represented by Rich Paul and has played with LeBron James – could also help give him an upper hand if L.A. does decide to bring in someone new.