This offseason, the Los Angeles Lakers have accumulated many former All-Stars, including the likes of Carmelo Anthony, Rajon Rondo and Dwight Howard. Apparently, they weren’t done quite yet. Brooklyn Nets big man DeAndre Jordan was recently traded to the Detroit Pistons but the plans weren’t for him to stay long.
He’s been linked to the Lakers over the past week and it appears that it’s happening. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Jordan and the Pistons have agreed to a buyout and he will sign with Los Angeles once he clears waivers.
The deal will be for one year and is worth $2.6 million, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
It’s highly unlikely that a team will claim Jordan on the waiver wire considering his contract so his deal with the Lakers is essentially set in stone. This will be a bit of a homecoming for the former All-Star. He spent over a decade with the Clippers and was a key part of their success. He’s 33-years-old now and past his prime but should provide depth at center for the Lakers.
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Is This the End for Marc Gasol?
The addition of Jordan essentially spells the end of Marc Gasol’s time in Los Angeles. The 36-year-old Spaniard recently stated that he would like to play this season for the team but it appears the Lakers had different plans. Nothing has been finalized yet but the team doesn’t need three aging centers. The plan is likely to have Jordan and Howard handle center duties with Anthony Davis occasionally playing the position.
With the Lakers not having much depth at power forward, it’s possible that they want to put Gasol there due to his 3-point shooting ability. It remains to be seen if Gasol would even want to do that. He wasn’t always the most effective player for the Lakers last season but did play better towards the end of the season. His 41% 3-point shooting is not something you often get from big men in the NBA. However, he’s clearly declined athletically and his defense is not as great as it once was. It will be interesting to see if decides to retire or join another team if he does get bought out.
Who Starts at Center?
The Lakers now have two of the greatest defensive big men of a generation in Howard and Jordan. Neither of them are the defenders they once were but can still make an impact on that side of the court. As of right now, it’s hard to know who will end up starting.
During Howard’s recent stint with the Lakers, he only started in two of 69 games played. That said, he did transition to starting center in the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat and played well. Jordan started 43 games for the Nets last season so he’s more recently been a starter. The situation could be fluid but it seems the Lakers like Howard off the bench. That would pave the way for Jordan to start.
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