The Los Angeles Lakers are cutting DeAndre Jordan, freeing up a roster spot for midseason free agency in the process, and will use the newfound space to sign DJ Augustin, according to multiple reports.
Today was the final day teams could waive a player by and allow them to be playoff eligible for another team. In addition to Augustin, Charania reports that the team will add Wenyen Gabriel — the all-time leading scorer in the team’s predraft “Lakers Mentality” drill — on a two-way contract.
To create an open two-way spot to sign Gabriel, the Lakers will be waiving Sekou Doumbouya.
The Lakers also intend to sign forward Wenyen Gabriel on a two-way NBA contract, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Gabriel has had stints with the Nets, Clippers and Pelicans this season, showing flashes of athleticism and versatility at 6-foot-9. https://t.co/XCCc1MxC2B— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 1, 2022
The Lakers are waiving forward Sekou Doumbouya to make room to sign forward Wenyen Gabriel to a two-way contract, league sources tell @TheAthletic.— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) March 1, 2022
Augustin is a career 38 percent three-point shooter -- a desperate need for the Lakers right now— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) March 1, 2022
D.J. Augustin (apparently headed to Lakers) was No. 15 on my buyout board. Still 24 hours left in #buyoutsznhttps://t.co/XH6YcNTH7b— John Hollinger (@johnhollinger) March 1, 2022
Lakers cost themselves roughly $5M in tax payments and a small trade exception by not just sending cash to another team to take DeAndre Jordan at the trade deadline. Hey, it's the Buss's money, but that's some FO malpractice right there.— John Hollinger (@johnhollinger) March 1, 2022
Augustin is obviously unlikely to fix all this team’s issues, but after standing pat at the trade deadline, the Lakers didn’t really have any other options outside of this to add to their roster. And after last night’s lifeless loss to the Pelicans, this team was clearly in need of a shakeup.
The Lakers are also unlikely to miss Jordan much. In 32 appearances, he had the worst net rating (-12.3) of any player to play more than 40 minutes for the team this season. That somehow undersells how washed he usually looked.
Augustin played in 34 games for the Houston Rockets this season (starting twice) before being cut last month, and he averaged 5.4 points, 2.2 assists and 1.2 rebounds while shooting 40.6% from deep in this appearances. It’s not really clear he totally addresses a need for this team, but hey, maybe some new blood can inject a bit of energy into this roster. And with how bad Jordan has been this year, the 5’11 Augustin may actually be an upgrade at center, much less at backup point guard.
Still, this is very funny:
By adding DJ Augustin and waiving DeAndre Jordan, the Lakers managed to get older. (Augustin is 34, Jordan 33)— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) March 1, 2022
It sounds like Jordan will follow in the footsteps of Dwight Howard and Andre Drummond, and become the third Lakers center in a row to join the Sixers as Joel Embiid’s backup:
The 76ers have been in the market for a backup center and will be aggressive in pursuit of DeAndre Jordan — either placing a waiver claim or working to sign him as a free agent should he clear waivers, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 1, 2022
Either way, the timing of this cut also means that, hilariously, Jordan’s almost astoundingly errant lob attempt vs. the Pelicans will be one of the final plays he made during his ignominious Lakers tenure.
The Lakers finally saw enough.pic.twitter.com/9D1v1YUH8t— Silver Screen and Roll (@LakersSBN) March 1, 2022
Forget his atrocious efficiency metrics and on-off numbers, or the team doing him a favor and letting him go join a contender. No. I Instead choose to believe that this was the final straw for Rob Pelinka.
This breaking news story may be updated with more information, analysis and reaction as it continues to develop. For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts.