One day after the Lakers didn’t make a deal at the NBA’s trade deadline, the Lakers hosted one of the top available free agents in the hopes of adding him to their roster.
Dinwiddie, who was traded to Toronto from Brooklyn and waived, met with his former organization, Dallas, Thursday in New York City.
His decision, one that could come as soon as Saturday, is between Dallas and the Lakers, according to people with knowledge of the situation not authorized to speak publicly. Dinwiddie, 30, is from Los Angeles and his meeting with the Lakers left the team encouraged about the prospect of signing him.
In addition to Pelinka, Dinwiddie and his representatives sat with Joey and Jesse Buss in the bunker suite seats across from the Lakers’ bench.
This season for Brooklyn, Dinwiddie averaged 12.6 points and 6.0 assists while shooting 39.1% from the field and 32% from three-point range. In two seasons with Dallas (before being traded for Kyrie Irving), he shot 40.4% from three and averaged 17.1 points per game.
“Playmaking, another ball handler, another shot-maker. Another guy, another veteran,” LeBron James said when asked what Dinwiddie would bring. “Anytime you can add a veteran with that ability, it helps. So we’ll see what happens.”
Anthony Davis echoed James.
“Obviously, we’ve seen what he did with Brooklyn, what he did with Dallas making big plays for them,” Davis said. “He’s a well-established player.”
The Lakers picked a good night to make a strong impression, scoring 139 points while having all five starters finish with at least 20 — something no Laker team has done since 1984.
“I think just, with all the guys we have, it’s going to allow guys to step up when they’re names are called. Guys did a good job,” D’Angelo Russell said. “I think the chemistry is definitely growing. Trade deadline just ended so guys are a little bit more comfortable. So I think it’s only going to get better from here.”
After the game, Dinwiddie and Pelinka walked back toward the Lakers’ locker room.
Russell, who played in Brooklyn with Dinwiddie earlier in his career said that he was a fan of his game. Asked by one reporter what kind of person Dinwiddie is, Russell might’ve dropped a hint.
“Y’all get to know him soon,” Russell said.