3 reasons DeAndre Jordan makes zero sense for the Lakers
DeAndre Jordan is on the verge of being bought out by the Brooklyn Nets, according to The Athletic. The Los Angeles Lakers will reportedly be one of the teams eyeing Jordan, should he become a free agent, fresh off signing Rajon Rondo.
The Rondo addition is utterly logical: Los Angeles needed another point guard, and Rondo is both familiar with and respected in the Lakers’ locker room after helping them win a title less than one year ago.
1) Lakers notes: DeAndre Jordan is redundant
The Lakers do not need Dwight Howard, 35, and DeAndre Jordan, 33, on the same roster. Jordan and Howard are nearly identical archetypes, especially at this stage of Howard’s career: rim-protectors, glass-cleaners, screen setters, lob threats, end of tweet… only with this addendum: Howard is far more impactful in 2021.
The Lakers have another aging center (Marc Gasol, 36) on the roster, and their best center is Anthony Davis. Los Angeles has a “need” in the frontcourt — a 4 who can stretch the floor and defend (think: Paul Millsap, Kevin Love) — but DeAndre Jordan is decidedly not that.
2) He isn’t a rotation piece anymore
Overlooking positional fit for production would be acceptable if Jordan was still a remotely effective NBA player. However, in this decade, the former All-Star is not a rotation-caliber piece for a contender.
Jordan started 43 of 57 games for the Nets in 2020-21, but that role was largely ceremonial, confirmed by the fact that he was a DNP in the playoffs.
Jordan is a beloved teammate and locker room guy — truly one of the best — but the Lakers can find players with more on-court value, too.
3) He’s a known quantity
If the Lakers are going to use their final roster spot on a bit player, taking a flyer on either a younger guy — say, an undrafted rookie such as Mac McClung or Chaundee Brown — or a priming athlete (e.g. JaKarr Sampson, James Ennis) makes more sense.
Bringing back Wesley Matthews would be another welcome option, but that doesn’t seem to be in the cards.
Evidently, Jordan has a high standing among his peers. His personal relationships with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving earned him a $40 million deal from Brooklyn. Maybe LeBron James and/or Anthony Davis feel similarly, and that’s been expressed to Rob Pelinka. However, from a basketball standpoint, there are more prudent uses of the final roster spot for the Lakers.