Three former role players of the Los Angeles Lakers, including a champion, are setting their sights on a fresh opportunity within the ranks of a direct Pacific Division rival.
According to reports by Shams Charania and Anthony Slater of The Athletic, the Golden State Warriors are set to host tryouts for three former Lakers players. The list includes 2020 Lakers shooting guard Dion Waiters, 2021-22 Lakers guard Kent Bazemore, and 2022-23 Lakers forward Juan Toscano-Anderson. Additional free agents such as journeyman wing Tony Snell, big man Harry Giles III, and undersized point guard Trey Burke also aspire to showcase their skills for the 2022 NBA champions. The Warriors, with two openings on their 15-man roster, are actively exploring their options.
Dion Waiters, aged 31, last played for an NBA team during the Lakers’ championship win in the 2020 Orlando “bubble” amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The versatile 6’3″ combo guard contributed as a rotation player during the bubble regular season but saw reduced playing time during the playoffs, averaging just 7.6 minutes across a limited five-game span.
Juan Toscano-Anderson, part of the Warriors’ title-winning team in 2022, opted for a minimum contract with the Lakers last year, hoping for increased court time. However, he was later traded to the Utah Jazz as part of the Russell Westbrook trade. In the past season, spanning the Lakers and the Jazz, Toscano-Anderson averaged 3.0 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. Despite his athleticism and defensive prowess, his shooting skills did not fully develop.
Kent Bazemore eyes his third stint with the Golden State Warriors, having previously represented the team from 2012 to 2014 and later during the 2020-21 season. His journey has also included appearances for the Lakers in two distinct periods. Golden State, which the Lakers overcame in the 2023 Western Conference playoffs, is aiming to revamp its roster for the upcoming year, seeking to maintain competitiveness in 2024.
As these former Lakers players seek new opportunities with the Warriors, the prospect of reunions and fresh beginnings adds an intriguing layer to the dynamic landscape of the NBA. Stay tuned for updates on how these familiar faces fare in their pursuit of a new chapter with the Golden State Warriors.