The Los Angeles Lakers are set to meet with unrestricted free agent DeAndre Jordan on Wednesday, according to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. Jordan will meet with the New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks on the first official day of free agency as well. The Clippers are set to be the final team that meets with their big man on Thursday.
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The Lakers are in need of a center after drafting point guard D'Angelo Russell with the No. 2 pick, making Jordan one of the best fits for the roster going forward. DeAndre is also at the peak of his prime, turning 27 in July. Kobe Bryant has gone out of his way to contact Jordan, putting in a call to let him know the Lakers "are interested," according to Turner. It's an interesting detail to know Kobe is aiding with the Lakers' recruitment efforts this summer.
All of Jordan's free agency meetings will take place in Beverly Hills, giving the Lakers a bit of homecourt advantage. Los Angeles will be the second team that meets him on Wednesday. The Mavericks are said to be the strongest contender to sign DeAndre away from the Clippers, giving him a chance to return to his home state of Texas. They will make the first pitch.
DeAndre is one of the best free agents available after putting together a solid resume alongside Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. The Clippers can offer Jordan the most money in a five-year deal, while contending teams can offer him a four-year, $80 million contract. His athleticism, efficiency at finishing around the rim, rebounding and ability to protect the paint make him one of the top players at his position.
The Lakers may not be the favorites, but they're definitely ready to take their shot at signing him from the Clippers.