Dion Waiters was in the Orlando bubble, helping the Los Angeles Lakers win a ring.
Waiters got his championship ring, but his phone never rang during the offseason with another offer — and that has him contemplating retirement. He remains a free agent any team could contact and snap up.
Waiters talked about it during an Instagram live session (hat tip to Complex).
“I been contemplating it though, about retiring. It’s the politics for me. Game-wise, we know what’s up. I just can’t do the politics, man. We ain’t going over that water. I’ll retire before that.”
Waiters is just 29 years old, with eight years of NBA experience. Last season he started in Miami but was suspended by the team three different times — one time surrounding his eating cannabis-infused gummies on the team plane then requiring emergency medical attention when that flight landed. Waiters opened up behind the reasons for that incident.
Miami traded Waiters to Memphis, needing his salary to balance out the money in the Justise Winslow to Memphis/Andre Iguodala trade. The Grizzlies waived Waiters, who soon after signed with the Lakers.
Waiters has valuable skills, he can create shots for himself, either in isolation or in the pick-and-roll, and is a good spot-up shooter. Off the bench in a limited role, he could help a lot of teams, but some franchises look at what happened in Miami and fear a distraction. That wasn’t an issue in Los Angeles, but not every team has the strong veteran presence of LeBron James setting their locker room tone.
We will see if Waiters’ name pops up on the NBA radar this season, or if he considers playing overseas. Waiters just seems too young to be thinking about retirement, politics or not.