The Los Angeles Lakers made waves on Thursday when they expanded the Anthony Davis trade to open up nearly $32 million in cap space. They are expected to pursue several max-level free agents including Kawhi Leonard, with whom they have reportedly scheduled a meeting.
However, the team still needs to fill out the rest of its roster as well, entering free agency with LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Kyle Kuzma as the only players under contract.
The Lakers have been widely speculated to prioritize 3-point shooters and perimeter defenders but they also need depth in the front court which is why ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Ramona Shelburne are reporting that the organization is expected to pursue DeAndre Jordan:
The center position is deep in this free-agent class, but one player to keep an eye on is DeAndre Jordan. As Jordan is one of the league’s best defenders and a close friend of Durant’s, teams who have interest in Durant have interest in bringing Jordan aboard as well, including the Brooklyn Nets and Knicks, where Jordan finished last season.
But Jordan, who played nine seasons with the LA Clippers, has an interest in playing in Los Angeles again, sources said. He would potentially be a fit for the Lakers, who are expected to try to find a way to sign Jordan and play him alongside Anthony Davis and LeBron James.
Jordan finished last season with the New York Knicks after initially signing a one-year contract with the Dallas Mavericks in the offseason. He is not quite the player he was during his Clippers days, having lost some of the athleticism that made him great. However, many expect him to return to form if he is on a contender where he will be more focused.
Obviously, the Lakers need to balance their roster and spending most of their money on power forwards and centers probably would not be wise. But having a starting-level center to allow Davis to slide back to his preferred position, at least during the regular season, and to provide depth in the playoffs should be something they look for. Whether Jordan’s market will make him a possibility is a different question but the former All-Star could theoretically be the best possible acquisition to fill that need.