2021-22 Los Angeles Lakers Player Review: DeAndre Jordan
DeAndre Jordan’s signing made for an intriguing addition to the Los Angeles Lakers roster last summer.
Despite L.A.’s commitment to small-ball, the franchise turned to its blueprint for the 2019-20 title-winning to ensure the coaching staff has an alternative system at hand in case the smaller units don’t work as planned.
They looked for two nominal centers who can add lob threat and offer solid rebounding, and eventually brought in Jordan and reunited with Dwight Howard — both arriving on a minimum veteran deal.
After injuries hit the Lakers in the preseason, Jordan ended up starting games for L.A. at the beginning of 2021-22. However, he clocked in just 13.8 minutes per night in the first quarter of the season, as opponents kept exposing his shortcomings on the defensive end.
From the start of December, the 33-year-old center made just 12 appearances before the Purple and Gold waived him on March 1. Jordan left the L.A. averaging 4.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in 32 games.
In one of his last plays as a Laker, he threw a ludicrous half-court pass in the 28-point loss to the New Orleans Pelicans that landed around the spot where two courtside rows meet in the corner of Crypto.com Arena, fittingly summing up his time with the team.
There isn’t much to choose from considering Jordan had a pretty bad run with a terrible Lakers team. However, he will certainly remember the moment he reached the 10,000-rebound milestone during a December win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Jordan didn’t even know he collected his 10,000th rebound during the game and learned about it only after the final buzzer.
Jordan joined the Philadelphia 76ers soon after his Lakers exit with the center claiming he left to enjoy a bigger role with the Eastern Conference team. However, his time in Philadelphia followed a similar trajectory to his stint with L.A. — his shifts gradually shortened as the season went on.
Jordan’s weaknesses could make it difficult for him to remain in the NBA, particularly considering how many teams have been downsizing over the last few years. However, judging by how eagerly the 76ers reportedly pursued the big man before the buyout market’s shutdown, he might still be able to find a team with an open roster spot that could offer him another one-year minimum deal.
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