It’s no secret the 2021-22 season hasn’t gone as planned for the Los Angeles Lakers, but the organization may have reached its lowest point on Sunday night in the blowout loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.
The 123-95 thrashing dropped the Lakers to 27-33 on the season as they fight to stay in playoff contention.
There was hope that the Lakers would be able to add reinforcements ahead of the trade deadline, but given their lack of assets, no deal was able to come together and the roster remained unchanged.
The Lakers still have time to make roster changes on the buyout market, although it would require a player being waived since their roster is full.
While that would come with luxury tax implications, it appears the Lakers were willing to bite the bullet as they will reportedly waive DeAndre Jordan to add some backcourt depth with veteran D.J. Augustin, via Shams Charania of The Athletic:
The Los Angeles Lakers intend to waive DeAndre Jordan and sign free agent guard DJ Augustin, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Lakers are bringing in a veteran, accomplished shooting PG to back up Russell Westbrook.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 1, 2022
In the loss to the Pelicans, the Lakers had 23 turnovers with their two primary ball-handlers LeBron James and Russell Westbrook having seven each.
The 34-year-old Augustin should add more stability to the Lakers backcourt with the addition of another floor general. Augustin has been in the league since 2008, averaging 9.6 points and 3.9 assists while shooting 38% from three in 955 career games.
Augustin last played for the Houston Rockets, appearing in 34 games this season before being waived on Feb. 10. He played for Lakers head coach Frank Vogel both on the Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic.
Jordan’s Lakers tenure didn’t go how either party had hoped as the 33-year-old played in 32 games (19 starts) and struggled to stay in the rotation. He played just over nine minutes in the loss to the Pelicans, recording two points and three rebounds in his final game with the team.
While the Lakers now only have one true center on the roster in Dwight Howard, they have committed to playing small-ball more often with LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Trevor Ariza and Stanley Johnson all sliding down.
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