Los Angeles Lakers: 3 reasons Dion Waiters was right choice over J.R. Smith

Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Lakers
(Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images) /

2. He can create for others

Waiters may not be a point guard, but he has some ability to get others open shots. He has a career average of 2.8 assists a game in 28.3 minutes. That translates to 3.5 assists per 36 minutes.

When LeBron James is resting on the bench, the Los Angeles Lakers’ offense goes down the toilet. Overall, they’re an elite offensive team, as they rank at or near the top of the NBA in points per game, shooting percentage, offensive rating, assists and fastbreak points. But without James, the Lakers become a piss-poor offensive team in just about every metric.

This is largely because they lack someone else who can effectively create shots for others on a consistent basis.

Rajon Rondo used to be elite in that category as recently as last season, but he has declined. Alex Caruso can handle the ball a bit, but he’s not a creator or a floor general.

Waiters is obviously not the ideal solution in terms of shot creation for others, but he’s probably a better option than what they currently have.

Smith, on the other hand, is a gunner with a career average of 2.1 assists a game in 27.0 minutes, or 2.9 assists a game per 36 minutes. He’s more of a finisher than a creator, and the Lakers have enough of the former.