When the offseason saw the Los Angeles Lakers address their void at center only by signing JaVale McGee and drafting Moritz Wagner, many wondered if it would become an area of weakness on the roster.
Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka pushed back on any concern, pointing to the team’s versatility and likelihood of Michael Beasley and Kyle Kuzma playing center in small-ball lineups.
That strategy didn’t prove to be effective, and as the Lakers faced a need down low, benefitted from the Phoenix Suns buying out Tyson Chandler from the final year of his contract. Chandler signed with the Lakers after clearing waivers and made for an effective tandem with McGee.
Their success has waned over recent months, however, prompting the Lakers to again evaluate their options. One reported target of interest is DeAndre Jordan, who was traded to the rebuilding New York Knicks.
Although the Lakers remain in search of a center, Jordan can all but be ruled out as the Knicks aren’t considered likely to part ways with the veteran, according to Brad Turner of the L.A. Times
The Lakers wouldn’t mind adding another big man, according to people not authorized to speak publicly. But one player the Lakers can forget about is Knicks center DeAndre Jordan, because New York has no intention of buying him out, according to one person.
Players must be waived by 8:59 p.m. PT Friday night in order to be eligible to for the playoffs with a new team.
If the Lakers are unable to find a center, they could pivot and sign Carmelo Anthony. He’s long been speculated as an eventual member of the organization, though may have been behind Enes Kanter and Markieff Morris who both signed with other teams over the Lakers.
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