Spencer Dinwiddie has signed with the Los Angeles Lakers, the team announced Saturday. Dinwiddie was one of the most highly sought-after players on the buyout market alongside Kyle Lowry, . One of his former teams, the Dallas Mavericks, were among the contenders to pursue him.
However, Dinwiddie ultimately elected to sign with the Lakers after attending Friday’s victory over the New Orleans Pelicans with general manager Rob Pelinka. Dinwiddie, a Los Angeles native, has been linked to the Lakers for years now. There was never a trade on the table that made sense for both sides, but now that the Lakers can add Dinwiddie without sacrificing assets, the time was right to bring the Californian home.
Dinwiddie’s fit, on paper, is a tad questionable. While Pelinka made it clear after the trade deadline that he planned to seek out ball-handling on the buyout market, the Lakers already have a fair amount of it in place. LeBron James obviously has the ball quite a bit. D’Angelo Russell is in the midst of the best stretch of his career, and Austin Reaves has come on strong lately after a shaky start to the season.
However, the guard depth behind Russell and Reaves has been suspect. Gabe Vincent has barely played due to injury, Cam Reddish has been sidelined for awhile as well, and on Thursday, the Lakers lost Max Christie to a sprained ankle that should keep him out for a few weeks as well. If nothing else, Dinwiddie is an experienced and proven rotation-caliber guard that can soak up minutes while the Lakers deal with all of these absences.
But the key to Dinwiddie’s fit in Los Angeles will be his 3-point shooting. For his career, he’s sitting at a shaky 33.1%. As the Lakers learned with Russell Westbrook, this team cannot function offensively with guards that don’t make 3’s. The hope for the Lakers is that playing with better talent boosts those numbers. In roughly one season’s worth of games as a Maverick, he made over 40% of his 3-pointers. Luka Doncic made his looks easier. Perhaps James can do the same. If so, the fit can work.
The Lakers didn’t make a trade at the deadline. That makes Dinwiddie their signature midseason addition. He’s coming at a point in which the Lakers badly needed back-court depth, so he’ll have a chance to impact their push for a playoff spot as soon as he steps on the floor.