Los Angeles Lakers: What Rajon Rondo injury means for these players

Lakers (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Lakers (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /
4 of 4
Los Angeles Lakers, Dion Waiters
Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

3. Dion Waiters

When the Lakers picked up Dion Waiters prior to the season going on hold, they likely didn’t anticipate having to throw him into the fire like this. But, here we are.

Waiters has not played much in the past two seasons because of injury and suspension. With the Miami Heat, he only played three games this year. In fact, since joining the Heat back in 2016, he has not played more than 46 games in a season for various reasons.

At times, his character has been in question. Other times, his conditioning was in question. Now, teamed up with LeBron and company, he has no choice but to grow up, mature and play his best basketball.

Unlike Smith, Waiters is much better at creating offense off the dribble. He’s a bit better when it comes to elevating others in a sense that he is not solely a catch-and-shoot guy. Waiters can operate as a lead guard if need be, but he’ll probably split those duties on the second team with Alex Caruso.

Back during the 2016-2017 season with Miami, Waiters averaged a career-best 5.2 assists per 36 minutes. That was also his best year in terms of shooting it from long range. Waiters is at his best when he’s moving around and can not only create for himself, but allowing that movement to leave him winding up with the ball in the end — and sinking the shot.

Lakers: 3 reasons Kuzma can salvage his season. light. Trending

It will be a group effort to replace Rondo, but Waiters being added to the fold a few months ago will prove to be a highly valuable move for the Lakers. He’ll have an impact on that second group from the get-go.