Spencer Dinwiddie reportedly to sign with Lakers after clearing waivers
On Friday night, Spencer Dinwiddie sat next to Lakers GM Rob Pelinka, watching Los Angeles beat New Orleans.
Soon, he will be wearing Lakers purple and gold on the court for those games. Dinwiddie plans to sign with the Lakers once he clears waivers, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Dinwiddie — the face of cryptocurrency among NBA players — now playing his games at Crypto.com Arena is fitting.
LeBron James was asked postgame Friday what Dinwiddie would bring to the Lakers and praised him, via Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times.
“Playmaking, another ball handler, another shot-maker. Another guy, another veteran. Anytime you can add a veteran with that ability, it helps. So we’ll see what happens.”
Dinwiddie was traded from Brooklyn to Toronto at the deadline in a deal involving Dennis Schroder. In a cold business move, the Raptors instantly waived Dinwiddie, who was two games shy of a $1.5 million contract bonus for games played — the Raptors didn’t want to pay it so they cut him free. Dinwiddie met with the Dallas Mavericks (who could offer a little more money) but has chosen Los Angeles. The Lakers can only offer a veteran minimum contract.
The Lakers get the best player available on the buyout market, and Pelinka had said Thursday night after the deadline he hoped to sign a “ballhandling guard” on the buyout market. He got that, although it’s not going to move the needle that much for Los Angeles.
LeBron James remains the primary ballhandler on the Lakers (as he should be), Dinwiddie slides into the mix with the secondary ballhandlers D’Angelo Russell and Austin Reaves. The Lakers had hoped offseason signing Gabe Vincent would be in that mix, but injuries have limited him to five games this season. With Cam Reddish and Max Christie battling injuries as well (Christie rolled his ankle Thursday night against Denver), there are minutes for Dinwiddie.
Dinwiddie, however, does not bring defense or shooting to the Lakers, two things they need. Dinwiddie is shooting 32% from 3 this season and is 33.1% from beyond the arc for his career, and he is not a plus defender.
That said, he’s an upgrade to the Lakers roster. With the Lakers sitting ninth in the West and looking to climb higher in the play-in mix before the postseason, this is a good pickup.