It appeared that the Los Angeles Lakers had added the scoring punch they sought off the bench by adding Dion Waiters, but perhaps they aren’t done after all.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Lakers still want more shooters, and continue to have interest in swingman J.R. Smith even after signing Waiters. Smith worked out on for the Lakers on Monday, the same day the Lakers worked out Waiters. If the Lakers did want to sign Smith, they would have to open up a roster spot for him.
There is no doubt that the Lakers are serious about bench scoring. Smith, a career 41.9 percent three point shooter, definitely fits that bill. Whether the Lakers are serious enough about him to clear a roster spot remains to be seen, but he knows LeBron James and offers what the Lakers are after. It’s worth watching.
LaVar Ball was once again given a forum to make his outlandish statements and predictions on Tuesday, and the Big Baller Brand founder did not disappoint.
Ball discussed all three of his sons during an appearance on FS1’s “UNDISPUTED,” and he was asked about the potential of his oldest son Lonzo facing Lonzo’s former team, the Los Angeles Lakers, in the playoffs. The New Orleans Pelicans entered Tuesday 3.5 games back of the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference, but LaVar said he has no doubt the Pelicans are going to reach the postseason. And when they do, LaVar says they will pull off a massive upset over the Lakers because Lonzo will be in “revenge mode.”
.@Lavarbigballer on possible Lakers vs Pelicans playoff matchup:
"The Lakers will lose…Let me tell you why, you've got my son in a different mode. You've never seen my son in playoff mode and ain't never seen him in revenge mode." pic.twitter.com/xf2ou27bNY
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) March 3, 2020
If you can believe it, that may not have been the most outlandish claim LaVar made. He also guaranteed that his middle son LiAngelo, who went undrafted two years ago and last played for the Los Angeles Ballers of the BBB’s Junior Basketball Association, will be on an NBA roster within three years and lead the league in scoring.
"Zion can lead this league in scoring regularly till my other son gets there. When Gelo gets in the NBA, within 3 years, I guarantee you he's a scoring champ. Guarantee you."
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) March 3, 2020
There’s no way of knowing if LaVar actually believes these things, but making absurd predictions about his sons has helped his family become successful. As long as he keeps landing interviews, he’s going to stick with what works.
While it’s highly unlikely that the Pelicans would knock the Lakers out of the playoffs, NBA fans would love to see LeBron James battle it out with Zion Williamson in a seven-game series. We recently got a teaser of what that might look like, and there’s no question it’d be great for the game. In the event that New Orleans did pull an upset, you can almost guarantee Williamson would play a bigger role in it than “revenge mode” Lonzo Ball.
The Los Angeles Lakers had a very busy day of workouts Monday, and another big name showed off his skills for the organization.
According to Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times, the Lakers brought in veteran J.R. Smith for a workout on Monday, but are not in any hurry to fill their vacant roster spot.
Was told in addition to Dion Waiters, JR Smith worked out for the Lakers today. His familiarity w/ LeBron and his shooting ability are seen as pluses. The Lakers are in no rush, though, and might bring in others. They have one vacant roster spot after waiving Troy Daniels.
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) March 2, 2020
As noted, Smith and LeBron James know each other well from their days with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He’s been linked to the Lakers for over a month, so the rumors aren’t exactly new.
Smith was not the only player the Lakers worked out on Monday. For now, it seems there isn’t much of a hurry to make a signing.
The Los Angeles Lakers are working to fill their open roster spot, and may well have found their man.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Dion Waiters put in an “impressive showing” in his workout with the Lakers on Monday, and there is a chance the team will sign the guard.
Lakers have completed workout with free agent Dion Waiters and he had an impressive showing, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. Next portion of Waiters' visit to the Lakers: Meeting with Frank Vogel, Rob Pelinka and Kurt Rambis.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 2, 2020
The Lakers are the first and only team Waiters has worked out for to date. He was previously with the Miami Heat, but a series of off-court issues — including one highly publicized edible incident on the team plane — helped end his time there and limited him to just three games this season.
Waiters has been a volume scorer in the past and is a career 41.2 percent shooter from three-point range. That would certainly help the Lakers, who rank in the middle of the pack on that front.
DeMarcus Cousins was officially waived by the Los Angeles Lakers this past weekend, but he’s still spending time around the team anyway.
Cousins continues to rehab a torn ACL, and according to coach Frank Vogel, that will continue as the center is part of the “family.”
Frank Vogel said DeMarcus Cousins, waived in light of Morris being signed, has become “part of the family,” and he’ll still be a presence as he’ll continue to work out/rehabilitate with the team. Vogel added that Cousins won’t travel or be on the bench during games.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) February 25, 2020
Relations between Cousins and the Lakers appear to be very good despite his recent release. The Lakers simply needed a roster spot, and they know that Cousins won’t return before the playoffs. The two sides are so comfortable with each other that there’s a possibility that Cousins will actually be back with the franchise next season.
DeMarcus Cousins’ time with the Los Angeles Lakers did not work out this season, but he may have a chance for a do-over next season.
The Lakers waived Cousins on Friday to make room for Markieff Morris, who was waived after reaching a buyout with the Detroit Pistons.
Cousins, who is recovering from a torn ACL over the summer, remains on good terms with the Lakers and plans to continue rehabbing with the team, though he cannot fly with them or attend their games.
The Athletic’s Joe Vardon reports that Cousins and the Lakers have expressed mutual interest in the center re-signing with the team.
Though this sounds great, there are obvious risks to re-signing Cousins. His injury issues when he tore his left Achilles tendon in early 2018. Then he hurt his left quad last year in the playoffs with the Warriors. And then he tore the ACL in his left knee.
The Lakers have used both JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard at center this season. Howard is on a one-year contract, while McGee has a $4.2 million player option for next season.
DeMarcus Cousins’ Los Angeles Lakers career is over without ever playing in a game for the franchise.
Cousins will be waived by the Lakers to clear a roster spot for new signing Markieff Morris, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne.
Cousins was never likely to factor heavily into the Lakers’ plans after tearing his ACL in August. He’s unlikely to play for any team during the regular season and the only real chance he’d have had to suit up for the Lakers would have been if they’d gone deep into the postseason. Even then, if he had any role, it likely would have been very minor.
The center has played in only 78 games since the end of the 2016-17 season due to repeated injuries, including two torn ACLs and a quad problem. He had a hard time finding a market in free agency last summer, and that will probably be the case this summer as well due to his inability to stay on the court.