The Los Angeles Lakers officially announced they have signed center DeAndre Jordan to a one-year deal. Per the team’s policy, terms of the deal were not released but it is believed to be one year for the veteran’s minimum.
Jordan was bought out by the Detroit Pistons after he was traded by the Brooklyn Nets and it was immediately reported that he would sign with the Lakers once he cleared waivers. Los Angeles has reportedly been exploring center options to pair with Anthony Davis and Jordan was a logical target once he became available.
Jordan appeared in 57 games for the Nets during the 2020-21 season, averaging 7.5 points and 7.5 rebounds on 76.3% shooting. Despite his solid production, Jordan saw his role on the team diminish once Brooklyn shifted to a small-ball lineup featuring Blake Griffin at center and he had no clear path to minutes once they signed Paul Millsap.
The Lakers currently have Dwight Howard and Marc Gasol flanking Davis, but Gasol and the team could be looking to part ways soon after Jordan was brought into the fold. Head coach Frank Vogel found most of his success playing a big-man tandem of Howard and JaVale McGee and Jordan looks to fill that role, especially if Gasol ends up elsewhere.
Even at 33 years old, Jordan could have some utility as another shot blocker and big body to man the paint while offensively he is still a lob threat in the pick-and-roll. Next to LeBron James and Russell Westbrook, Jordan should be able to feast on lobs and put back attempts so it is easy to see why the team chased him after his buy-out.
If Gasol is gone, there is a case to be made for Jordan to start in order to keep Howard in his normal bench role, but the more optimal choice would be to have Davis outright start at center. Vogel will have a real challenge figuring out how to distribute minutes but Jordan will almost certainly play some sort of role.
George Karl takes shot at Lakers roster
After the news that Jordan would be signing with the Lakers broke, naysayers immediately rehashed the age narrative. NBA figures like George Karl made sure to get their licks in, saying that Los Angeles would be contenders for the 2012-13 championship.
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