The Los Angeles Lakers have been busy this offseason, adding a new star to the roster while saying goodbye to another.
The lakers 2021 is a team that has been struggling to find success. They have recently added another former all-star, but are saying goodbye to another.
Next season, LeBron James and Anthony Davis will be surrounded by a slew of new faces. Former All-Stars Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwight Howard have joined the Los Angeles Lakers, who finished 42-30 in 2020-21.
The squad of head coach Frank Vogel is still undergoing adjustments. After being released by the Detroit Pistons, LA acquired De’Andre Jordan, another former All-Star. His acquisition, though, meant bidding farewell to a player who donned Purple and Gold last season but fell short of expectations.
The Los Angeles Lakers made a deal to get rid of a dud signing.
The Los Angeles Lakers’ Marc Gasol #14 and LeBron James #23 dispute in the third quarter against the Phoenix Suns over a foul called on Gasol. | Photo by Harry How/Getty Images
The Lakers traded center Marc Gasol to the Memphis Grizzlies the same day they announced Jordan’s deal. Following the departures of Howard and JaVale McGee, Gasol was brought in last season to take over as the main center. Even though he started 42 games for the Lakers, the two-time All-NBA pick averaged a career-low 5.0 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.
Gasol eventually gave up his starting spot and came off the bench in all but one of LA’s six playoff games. The Lakers traded the 36-year-old to Memphis for the draft rights to 2016 second-round selection Wang Zhelin, who has yet to play in the NBA, as well as a 2024 second-round pick and cash. The Grizzlies, with whom Gasol spent almost 11 seasons, are said to be releasing the 6-foot-11 center.
De’Andre Jordan wants to go back in time.
Jordan has signed a one-year contract for little over $2.6 million with the hopes of returning to glory. The 6-foot-11 center from Texas A&M played for the Brooklyn Nets for the last two seasons, starting 49 of the 113 regular-season games he played in.
The 13-year veteran’s output dropped dramatically last season. Jordan’s 7.5-point per-game average was his lowest since his fourth season in the NBA. He also had 7.5 rebounds, the first time he hasn’t had 10 or more in a season since 2012-13. Jordan averaged 8.3 points and 10.0 rebounds in 22.0 minutes the year before, but just 21.9 minutes last season.
Jordan can make 70% of his field-goal tries, grab double-digit rebounds, and add two blocks a game when he’s at his best. But the last time he accomplished all three was in 2015-16, when he was just 27 years old.
The Lakers’ experienced shuffle continues.
The Lakers are only returning four players from last year’s squad after a dismal first-round elimination at the hands of the Phoenix Suns. Two are James and Davis, while the other two are benchwarmer Devontae Cacok and Talen Horton-Tucker.
The aim of LA is to bring in seasoned veterans, and Jordan, 33, is no exception. The Lakers currently have 11 players who are 32 or older, including James, who is now 36 years old. Shooting guard Wayne Ellington, one of those veterans, believes age will not be an issue.
At his news conference, Ellington said, “I believe age is only a number.” “I believe we have a group of players that have been relatively healthy, are still moving well, and are even playing some of their greatest basketball at this age.”
Jordan may not be playing his best basketball right now, but LA will give him every chance to make an impact as a rebounder, shot blocker, and rim finisher. With Gasol no longer on the roster, Howard and Gasol are the only real centers on the team, except Davis when he switches to the 5-spot.
During his first news conference, Jordan said, “Obviously being a big, a player that I followed all the time when I was in high school was Dwight Howard.” “Obviously, we’ve never been teammates before, but I played against him a lot when he was in Orlando and with a number of other teams, and it’s been wonderful to see him again. We’re now teammates, and it’s fantastic.”
Vogel and his team will have a lot of fun balancing the two older centers with impressive credentials. For the sake of LA, let’s hope the output is better than Gasol’s.
Basketball Reference provided all statistics.
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