DeAndre Jordan has made the jump from one NBA championship contender to another. Jordan spent the last 2 seasons with the Brooklyn Nets, signing alongside Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in 2019.
His stint with Brooklyn wasn’t all that remarkable, as he played decent minutes swapping out for other bigs like Jarrett Allen, Blake Griffin, and even LaMarcus Aldridge.
Jordan wasn’t able to replicate anything close to his All-Star exploits with the Clippers. And with the Nets re-signing LaMarcus Aldridge as he came out of retirement and Blake Griffin, Jordan became surplus to requirements in Brooklyn. So the franchise and Jordan agreed to a contract buyout.
As a free agent, Jordan decided to return to Los Angeles but signed for the Lakers. He will probably be rotating with Dwight Howard, contributing decent minutes as a back-up center for the Lakers.
But Jordan doesn’t see moving from the Nets to the Lakers as a big deal. In a recent interview, DJ said that it is just a part of basketball. He pointed to his competitive spirit, and while he is still on good terms with his Nets’ teammate, his ultimate goal is to win the NBA championship, as is the case for his former teammates.
“I think it’s just basketball, man. You have a lot of friends in this league and you have a lot of guys that you compete against, and when you’re on the floor, this is somebody that you want to beat regardless of if you’re friendly or not. But off the floor those relationships and those bonds will stay strong. I think that I’m just excited to be a part of a team that’s chasing a championship. Just like I’m sure there are a handful of other teams that are doing the same thing. But just to be able to be with a team like this with guys that you respect and guys that you’ve competed against for going on 14 seasons has been great. And seeing ‘oh, I wonder what it would be like to play with this guy,’ you always think about that whether you tell people or not, and now being able to have that opportunity I think it’s going to be great.”
Some fans questioned the Lakers’ picking up Jordan in the offseason, making the argument that the Nets, who are contenders for the title just like the Lakers, saw no value in DJ. Therefore, it begs the question of why the Lakers would take someone who was deemed replaceable by their main rivals for the title.
But the Lakers have clearly made it an agenda point to get as many veteran players on small contracts in order to give themselves some room to maneuver with regards to their salary cap.