Lakers would be foolish to sign DeAndre Jordan after Nets buyout

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - APRIL 20: DeAndre Jordan #6 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - APRIL 20: DeAndre Jordan #6 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets pulled off a “clean sweep” in the summer of 2019, adding Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and DeAndre Jordan as they moved from the fringe playoff tier to the exclusive championship contender club. While the first two names have performed as expected, Jordan has been a disappointment.

Though his rebounding skills haven’t eroded, Jordan is a poor offensive player the second he goes outside of the restricted area, and his rim protection has been severely lacking on a Nets team that was frequently targeted by opposing squads down low. Jordan was eventually axed from the playoff rotation.

With Shams Charania of The Athletic reporting that the Nets are looking to buy Jordan out, it seems that Brooklyn is ready to roll with Blake Griffin as the starting center, Nicolas Claxton as the top backup, and Day’Ron Sharpe competed for minutes. Jordan may get another shot in the NBA, but his next apparent destination is a bit puzzling.

Per Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, the Los Angeles Lakers have an interest in signing Jordan right after agreeing to a contract with Rajon Rondo following his Memphis buyout. The Lakers might be one of Brooklyn’s main rivals this season, but adding Jordan to the mix might actually be detrimental for them.

The Lakers adding DeAndre Jordan could help the Brooklyn Nets.

The Lakers are already the oldest team in the league by a wide margin, and adding a 33-year-old center who’s declining physically in Jordan won’t help them much. He wouldn’t even be a starter, as Marc Gasol will likely be at center for Frank Vogel this year.

At least their backup center role is open for Jordan, right? Nope! Dwight Howard returned to the Lakers after spending the year in Philadelphia, and while he isn’t a threat on offense like he was in his prime, he’s at least a much better defensive presence than Jordan is at this stage.

The Lakers have enough size and interior scoring between Gasol and their superstar trio of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook. What they need are youth and shooters, and while players like Malik Monk and Talen Horton-Tucker helped in that regard, Jordan would be a step in the wrong direction.

The Lakers should’ve learned their lesson with Andre Drummond, as they didn’t even bother retaining him after his inefficient offense and so-so defense was exposed by the Suns in the postseason. Jordan would be even less productive as a Drummond replacement.

The Nets were so fed up with Jordan’s play — despite the fact they’re starting a poor defensive player at Griffin at the center spot and lack amazing frontcourt depth at the moment — they still thought that lineup was preferable to essentially playing with four men on the offensive side of the floor.

Jordan chasing a championship by any means necessary makes sense, but there are some teams in the West that could give him a chance to both contend and put up some solid numbers as a backup. The Lakers wouldn’t give him much playing time, and when he does get on the floor, he wouldn’t provide them with a ton of value.

This may actually end up being beneficial for the Nets. Let’s say the two teams meet in the Finals. Not only will the Nets be free to give Claxton and Sharpe extra minutes, but they are freed from Jordan’s contract, all while the Lakers get a defensive liability.

If injuries or the performance of others on their roster force the Lakers to put Jordan on the floor, a team like the Nets could run LA out of the gym thanks to some mismatches.