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Dion Waiters Says He's Ready Whenever His Number Is Called

Waiters didn't play in the Lakers' 112-103 win over the Clippers on Sunday

Lakers' coach Frank Vogel said the team is going to take its time integrating Dion Waiters into the lineup.

The Lakers officially acquired Waiters on Friday after waiving Troy Daniels. Waiters, who only played in three games this season for the Miami Heat, did not play in the Lakers' 112-103 win over the Clippers on Sunday.   

"It’s probably going to be a few games," Vogel said Saturday. "He hadn’t played all year." 

Waiters served three separate suspensions with the Heat this season, including one for eating a THC-infused edible on the team plane. The Heat traded Waiters to the Memphis Grizzlies last month and the Grizzlies waived him a few days later.  

Waiters said he had a brief talk with Vogel and Lakers' general manager Rob Pelinka about his tumultuous past before joining the Lakers. 

"You learn from your mistakes at the end of the day," Waiters said. "We don’t got to keep drilling on the past, things like that. You live and you learn. And I did that. So, they understood that and that was a short conversation."

The 28-year-old Waiters has career averages of 13.2 points on 41.2 percent shooting, 2.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists over eight seasons in the league. 

The Lakers are hoping he can provide the team with a scoring punch off the bench. 

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Waiters fully participated in the Lakers' practice Saturday, including scrimmaging with other players and team members. 

"At this time of year, there’s not a lot of practice time," Vogel said. "But we manufacture it because the biggest thing with him is getting his legs under him, so the more that he can play five-on-five, the better."

Waiters, the fourth overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, played alongside LeBron James for 33 games during the 2014-2015 season before being traded to Oklahoma City. 

"It’s always been a bond," Waiters said. "Even when I left. We always see each other, we always showed love. So, nothing really changed. It’s just different teams."

Waiters said he's looking forward to doing anything he can to help the Lakers, who are atop the Western Conference with a record of 49-13.

"It's doing the little things, being a great teammate," Waiters said. "Most importantly, trying to find ways to help the guys. I think if I come in here and I work hard, I prepare myself, my preparation, just coming in doing everything I need to do to be ready for when my number called. I'm ready for it."

The Lakers also recently signed Markieff Morris after waiving DeMarcus Cousins, who missed the entire season because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. 

Vogel acknowledged that it's tough integrating two new players onto the team this late in the season. 

"It’s difficult, I’m not going to lie about that," Vogel said. "But there’s such value in having these two guys on our team come playoff time that everybody is going to benefit from it and everybody sees the value in it."