The Los Angeles Lakers polished off their roster by adding some frontcourt depth in the form of veteran center DeAndre Jordan, who was traded from the Brooklyn Nets to the Detroit Pistons and then subsequently bought out.
The Lakers’ center rotation was arguably their biggest weakness last season, although it should get back to being a strength again with the additions of Jordan and Dwight Howard.
While all three of those former All-Stars may be past their primes, they’re still all capable of playing quality minutes, with Anthony Davis also likely to see some time at center throughout the year.
Team chemistry was such an important factor during the Lakers’ 2020 championship run and it appears they are getting back to that. Howard took to Instagram to welcome Jordan to the Lakers, saying he sees greatness in the 33-year-old:
This was a very respectful thing for Howard to do considering he and Jordan will be competing for minutes as centers that fill similar roles as rim protectors and lob threats.
It appears the admiration is mutual as during his introductory press conference, Jordan listed Howard as one of the players on the Lakers he’s most looking forward to playing with.
“Obviously, as a big, when I was in high school a guy I used to watch all the time was Dwight Howard,” Jordan said. “Obviously, we never had a chance to be teammates before, but competed against him a ton when he was in Orlando and a couple other teams. It’s been great being able to see him and now we’re teammates. It’s awesome.”
It will be interesting to see who starts for the Lakers at center this season, but regardless, it seems that everyone is bought into the team-first mentality with the collective goal in the locker room being winning a championship.
Jordan discusses role
Jordan has been known to be one of the best rebounding and shot-blocking centers in the NBA in recent history, and he is expecting to come in and fill that same role for the Lakers.
“First of all, I’m extremely excited. I want to thank everybody for this opportunity. I think that my role for any team that I’m on pretty much stays the same. I’m coming in to defend the basketball, try to change shots and alter shots at the rim, rebound the basketball, get my teammates open as best as possible and keep possessions alive for us and be a great force on both ends of the basketball floor and be a great locker room guy. That’s pretty much been my niche and my thing that I bring to every team that I’m on and I’m excited to get here and get to work with these guys. Being able to have multiple log threats now again with this team is going to be great, especially with the playmakers that we have and the unselfish guys that we have on this team, it’s going to be great.
“And to be able to space the floor a little bit with guys playing in the dunker and having, like I said, multiple playmakers and shooters spaced. So I think at times, we’re going to play big, at times we’re going to play small. It’s obviously whatever the game is needing at that moment in time, we’re going to be able to adjust to that because we’re so versatile.”
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