Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel recently praised Dion Waiters as one of the most talented guys in the league.
As the Los Angeles Lakers get ready to resume the season, they have been able to get some practicing in at their facility before they make the trip down to Orlando.
For the Lakers, they will be heading down to Florida with the best record in the Western Conference and with the expectations of winning a title. This roster of the Lakers is one that can win a championship this season, but there are some new faces.
Just before the league being suspended, the Lakers added Dion Waiters as a free agent. Waiters has been a good player in the NBA, but some off-the-court issues may have held him back a bit.
Recently, Frank Vogel got a chance to see Waiters at practice and liked what he saw. Here’s what he had to say about Waiters to Silver Screen and Roll.
"“He’s one of the more talented guys in this league,” Vogel continued. “If we can get these guys brought along at the right pace from a conditioning standpoint, I think both of them are going to help us.”"
As the fourth overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Waiters certainly has a lot of talent. However, so far in his career, he hasn’t lived up to the expectations of a Top-5 pick. In his career, Waiters is averaging 13.2 points, 2.8 assists and 2.7 rebounds per game. These are by no means bad numbers for Waiters, but they aren’t typically what you’d like to see from a Top-5 pick.
Where Waiters shined in his career was early on during his stint with the Miami Heat. During the 2016-17 season, Waiters averaged 15.8 points, 4.3 assists, and 3.3 rebounds per game. Waiters was able to follow up a strong first season in Miami with another, as he averaged 14.3 points, 3.8 assists, and 2.8 rebounds per game.
However, after the 2017-18 season, Waiters started to see a dip in his production, and he was eventually let go by Miami this season.
The Lakers picked up Waiters late in the buyout process, and hope that he will be a spark for them. When Waiters is at his best, he has the ball in his hands, mostly with the second unit. This has been a need for the Lakers, and Waiters might be able to fill it as a playmaker off the bench.
Even though he was signed months ago, we still haven’t seen Waiters play with the Lakers. Hopefully, he is in good shape and can help contribute in the playoffs.