The Los Angeles Lakers will reportedly sign DeAndre Jordan to a one-year, $2.6 million contract for the 2021-22 NBA season after the Detroit Pistons complete a buyout agreement with the veteran center. With the Lakers having Russell Westbrook now with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, they have become a real destination for ring chasing free agents like Jordan.
Jordan was traded to the Pistons on Friday in part of a luxury tax clearing move by the Brooklyn Nets. One that will save the franchise $46 million in spending. He was dealt along with four future second-round picks in exchange for Jahlil Okafor and Sekou Doumbouya.
The Nets no longer need Jordan as they have landed Paul Millsap in free agency and soon will sign LaMarcus Aldridge amid his NBA comeback efforts. Brooklyn seems content with allowing Jordan to land with a fellow contender that could be a top NBA title threat coming out of the Western Conference.
During a conversation with a Western Conference executive about the Lakers signing Jordan, it was made clear the perception of the move is unfavorable.
“With all due respect to DeAndre Jordan, it’s a lateral move at best for the Lakers. Quite frankly, he did not bring much to the table for the Nets and it often doesn’t look like he’s really even trying to move on defense. It seems like a pointless move. They needed more shooting around Westbrook and LeBron, not a slow big that doesn’t play defense.”
Jordan, 33, averaged 7.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in 21.9 minutes per game last season but failed to make much of an impact beyond the box score. His rim protection has fallen off a cliff and he’s incapable of playing out in space on defense.
The Lakers already have pulled off an impressive haul of one-year ring chasing veterans that includes the likes of Carmelo Anthony, Trevor Ariza, Kent Bazemore, Wayne Ellington, Dwight Howard and Rajon Rondo. Jordan would join the mix.
Where the situation with Jordan gets particularly interesting is how it could impact Marc Gasol, who doesn’t appear to have much of a role, if any, going forward with the Lakers. He has also been slowing down in on-court impact since taking part in the Toronto Raptors’ title run a few years ago. He could find himself being on the move with Jordan joining the team.
Even if Gasol were to be moved, DeAndre Jordan would not easily come by playing time with the Lakers given how Dwight Howard is slotted to be the top center option aside from Anthony Davis. Los Angeles is expected to involve Davis more as the five in order to maximize floor spacing with Westbrook now a member of the lineup.
The Los Angeles Lakers project as being one of the top NBA title contenders after making the trade to bring in Russell Westbrook to pair with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. However, the latest news does not sound as though it’s expected to impact the NBA title race much.
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