Two years after signing a four-year, $40 million contract with the Brooklyn Nets, DeAndre Jordan was traded to the Detroit Pistons this past week. Less than 48 hours later, he was promptly waived and immediately signed with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Jordan will make $2.6 million this season, roughly $1.6 million of which will be paid by L.A.
Because the Lakers re-signed Dwight Howard earlier this summer, a player who does much of the same thing as Jordan, many immediately wondered how the 35-year-old would react to the move. After all, Howard is known to have something of an interesting personality.
On Friday, Howard answered the question head-on in an Instagram post:
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Jordan, for what it’s worth, seems similarly excited by the prospect of teaming with Howard.
“Obviously as a big, when I was in high school, a guy that I watched all the time was Dwight Howard,” Jordan said during his introductory press conference. “And obviously we never had a chance to be teammates before, but I competed against him a ton when he was in Orlando and a couple other teams, and it’s been great being able to see him, and now we’re teammates, and it’s awesome.”
Although Howard has experienced some rough patches in recent years, like his own young son calling him out, he has also exhibited increased levels of maturity. His response to the gay rumors and Shaquille O’Neal showed a lot of growth. It’s nice to see him react as warmly to Jordan as he ultimately did.
Jordan also seemed excited to play alongside big names like LeBron James, Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis.
“Obviously guys like LeBron, Russ and AD, being opponents of these guys for so long, and especially Russ and AD in the Western Conference, I was there for so long, seeing those guys three or four times a year,” Jordan said. “Russ coming downhill angrily aggressive every time was very was tough. And now I can see what it’s like to be a teammate with this guy, and now I don’t have to contest him at the rim every night.
“AD is the same way. His skill set is so very high, and he can score on three different planes of the basketball floor, and be able to be a great defender. Being able to have (a guy like) that next to you is awesome. And LeBron has been a winner in this league for a long time while being able to orchestrate offenses and defenses, being a team leader out there and someone who was a leader and a winner throughout his career. Now being able to be a teammate with that high of a basketball IQ and that unselfish of a player like that, I’m excited to be teammates with all of those guys.”
Now we know what motivated Gronk to play so hard vs the Cowboys. https://t.co/xSVWG2zRU7
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 10, 2021
Jordan started 43 outings for the Nets in 2020-21, averaging 7.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in 22 minutes per game. Ultimately, however, he did not play in the postseason. Based on that alone, it was clear that divorce was inevitable.
Will Jordan be able to be a difference-maker for the Lakers? Time will tell. His old teammate, Kevin Durant, doesn’t seem to be too worried – but pride always comes before the fall.