DeAndre Jordan

Nuggets To Sign DeAndre Jordan

The Nuggets are signing DeAndre Jordan to back up two-time MVP Nikola Jokic at center, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

A source tells Mike Singer of The Denver Post (Twitter link) that Jordan will be signing a one-year contract worth the veteran’s minimum.

Jordan, who will turn 34 later this month, began the 2021/22 season on a minimum-salary contract with the Lakers. However, he was waived by Los Angeles in February and caught on with the Sixers for the rest of the season. In total, he appeared in 48 games for the two clubs, averaging 4.3 PPG and 5.5 RPG in 13.0 minutes per contest.

Jordan will no longer rank among the NBA’s leading rebounders and blocks like he did in his prime, but the Nuggets apparently believe he still has something left in the tank after an up-and-down ’21/22 campaign.

Atlantic Notes: Embiid, Jordan, Nurse, Smart

Sixers center Joel Embiid appears to be making progress in his recovery from an orbital fracture and mild concussion, per Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press (Twitter link). Embiid missed Game 1 of the team’s series against Miami and is expected to miss Game 2, though he could return after that.

Head coach Doc Rivers said today that Embiid, who suffered his injuries against Toronto in Game 6 last round, is “feeling a lot better.” However, Rivers added that he doesn’t “want to give false hope either.” Philadelphia missed the star center’s presence in Game 1, as the team lost the rebounding edge 47-37 and lost the game by 14 points.

Embiid, an MVP candidate, is coming off a season in which he averaged a career-high 30.6 points, 11.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. He also made the All-Star team for a fifth consecutive year. It’s clear the Sixers will need his presence in order to make a lengthy playoff run.

Here are some other notes from the Atlantic:

  • As Embiid continues his rehab, the Sixers plan to keep DeAndre Jordan in his starting role, Tim Bontemps of relays“We like DJ, we’re going to keep starting him whether you like it or not,” Rivers said. “That’s what we’re gonna do because our guys believe in him. It’s funny, at halftime, we asked our key guys, we were thinking about it because I thought Paul Millsap gave us decent minutes, and to a man, that’s where they wanted to go.”
  • Raptors coach Nick Nurse admitted the team could use more depth next season, Doug Smith of the Toronto Star writes. Specifically, Nurse identified catch-and-shoot players and athletic wings as pieces he’d like to see the team pursue. “The more quality players you have the better chance you’re going to have to win,” he said as part of a larger statement.
  • Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston explores how the Celtics could adjust if Marcus Smart (thigh bruises) isn’t 100% healthy. Smart, the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year, finished with 10 points, six assists and two steals in the team’s Game 1 loss, shooting 3-of-11. His defense is especially important against the Bucks, who start Jrue Holiday at point guard. Holiday scored 25 points in Game 1.

Sixers Notes: Rivers, Thybulle, Green, Jordan, Bassey

Should the Sixers suffer an early playoff exit, there has been speculation that coach Doc Rivers might be on the hot seat, and with Frank Vogel expected to be fired after the season, Rivers has surfaced as a name to watch for the Lakers‘ head coaching job.

Kyle Neubeck of explores the topic of whether Rivers makes sense as a candidate in Los Angeles — assuming he’d even be interested in the job. Neubeck states that Rivers deserves credit for publicly embracing the team’s championship aspirations, but it could lead to him being the fall guy if the Sixers fail to make a significant postseason run.

Here’s more on Philadelphia:

  • A league source tells Neubeck that there’s no indication that Matisse Thybulle has changed his stance about getting vaccinated. Toronto won Friday night, clinching at least the No. 5 seed in the East. As ESPN’s Tim Bontemps notes (via Twitter), the Bucks will either be the No.2 or the No. 3 seed after Friday’s victory, and the Sixers can finish no better than third, because Milwaukee holds the tiebreaker. Point being, the odds have increased that the Sixers could face the Raptors in the first round of the playoffs.
  • Rivers was vague in his response to Thybulle being ineligible to play in Toronto, per Gina Minzell of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link). “It’s one game tonight. We’ll go from there,” Rivers said before Thursday’s meeting. When asked how it might impact the team in the postseason, Rivers said, “We don’t know who we’re playing yet, so we’ll just handle that when it comes.” Philly lost to Toronto this week in Thybulle’s absence.
  • Veteran Danny Green says he’s not happy about the situation with Thybulle, but it wasn’t clear from his wording whether he’s displeased about the rule that unvaccinated foreign nationals can’t enter Canada, or with Thybulle himself.  I’m not happy about it. It is an opportunity for myself and other guys to get more minutes on the road with James [Harden] and other rotations, but I think we’re a better team when we’re whole and we have everybody,” Green said. He added that it was tough to evaluate the team when it isn’t whole. “Most guys, I don’t want to say [are] disappointed, but. … it’s still a point in the season when we’re still trying to gauge who we are, where we are. The only way to do that is to have everybody together. It’s tough to do that when we don’t have everybody” (Twitter thread courtesy of Mizell).
  • DeAndre Jordan has been positive locker room presence for the Sixers, Mizell writes in a story for The Inquirer. Jordan has served as the team’s primary backup center after being waived by the Lakers.
  • Rookie Charles Bassey suffered a right shoulder sprain and missed his game with the team’s G League affiliate, the Delaware Blue Coats, per Derek Bodner of The Daily Six (Twitter link). Bassey will be reevaluated in about 10 days. The 21-year-old hasn’t played much at the NBA level, appearing in 23 games with an average of 7.3 minutes per contest, but he’s been productive when given opportunities.

Eastern Notes: Porzingis, Jordan, Haslem, Morris

Wizards big man Kristaps Porzingis showed he can still be dominant in the team’s victory over the Lakers on Saturday, Josh Robbins of The Athletic writes. Porzingis finished with 27 points and five assists, helping his team win 127-119.

“Just down the stretch, we wanted to play through him,” teammate Kentavious Caldwell-Pope said. “No one could stop K.P. at the elbow. He was just turning around and shooting over everybody. It’s going to be great just to see if we can get him a full season. We already know what he can do.”

Porzingis was acquired by the Wizards in February. He has dealt with a variety of injuries over his career (and hasn’t played over 60 games since the 2016/17 season), but he can still be productive when healthy. In seven games with Washington, he’s averaging 20.6 points and 7.0 rebounds per contest.

There’s more out of the Eastern Conference:

Atlantic Notes: Celtics, Thomas, Stauskas, Knicks, Jordan

Asked on Tuesday whether the Celtics considered signing Isaiah Thomas at any point this season, head coach Ime Udoka said that point guard “was never really a position of need” for his team, as Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston tweets.

The Celtics did trade away a point guard – Dennis Schröder – at last month’s deadline, but acquired Derrick White on the same day. The team came out of the trade deadline with five open spots on its 15-man roster and has since filled them all without adding another point guard.

Now a member of the Hornets on a 10-day contract, Thomas will face his old team on Wednesday night in Charlotte. And, as Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe details, the veteran point guard admitted that he’s disappointed a reunion with the Celtics has never materialized since he was traded by the team in 2017.

“I’ve tried to have conversations about that, but it’s hard to speak on because I’ve opened my arms to try to come back in so many ways,” Thomas said on Tuesday. “And it’s not even playing and trying to pick up where I left off. I’m past that moment. I know there’s been times where I can help in that locker room.

“This is from the outside looking in, but I felt like there’s times where (president of basketball operations) Brad (Stevens) could make a call and give me an opportunity, and it hasn’t happened, so that’s very frustrating because of the relationship we have, the friendship we’ve been able to have over the years.”

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Nik Stauskas, who signed a two-year, minimum-salary contract with the Celtics last week, said on Tuesday that he had considered the possibility of walking away from basketball after this season if he didn’t get another NBA opportunity, tweets Forsberg. Stauskas’ salary for 2022/23 is non-guaranteed, but if he impresses the C’s down the stretch, it’s possible he’ll stick around for next season.
  • Fourth-year center Mitchell Robinson has been one of the few bright spots for the Knicks this season, according to Steve Popper of Newsday, who notes that Robinson has played some of his best basketball recently as he nears unrestricted free agency. “Mitch is playing really well, really well,” head coach Tom Thibodeau said on Monday. “I want him to continue on that path. His effort to the board — his execution is much, much improved in terms of what we can do with him in terms of dribble-handoff and pick-and-roll and that sort of thing. He’s growing day by day.” Robinson, who was limited to just two minutes on Monday due to an illness, is questionable to play in Dallas on Wednesday.
  • With the Knicks in need of some reliable backcourt production due to the absences of players like Derrick Rose, Quentin Grimes, and Kemba Walker, Immanuel Quickley has broken out of a season-long shooting slump and strung together a series of impressive offensive performances at just the right time, says Peter Botte of The New York Post. In his last five games (26.5 MPG), Quickley is averaging 18.6 PPG on .528/.520/.960 shooting.
  • DeAndre Jordan didn’t make much of an impact in Los Angeles this season, but he could be the ideal backup for Sixers star Joel Embiid, Marcus Hayes of The Philadelphia Inquirer contends.

Atlantic Notes: Nets, Noel, Jordan, Raptors

The Nets would have to go on a major winning streak to escape the play-in tournament. Winding up in that extra round could have major offseason consequences, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. Coach Steve Nash could find his job in jeopardy, despite all the obstacles he’s been forced to deal with this season. The roster could be overhauled, as Lewis notes only six players have guaranteed contracts for next season and two others can opt out of their deals.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Knicks center Nerlens Noel did not play on Sunday due to plantar fasciitis and he could be out for an extended period, according to The New York Post’s Marc Berman. Coach Tom Thibodeau said Noel would not play until he recovered from the foot ailment and got some regular practice time. Noel has played in just 25 games due to an assortment of knee, hamstring and foot injuries. He signed a three-year, $27.7MM contract last summer with a team option for the final year.
  • DeAndre Jordan said his prior relationships with coach Doc Rivers and starters James Harden and Tobias Harris, plus the need for a backup center, made the Sixers an easy choice after he cleared waivers, Tim Bontemps of ESPN tweets. Jordan heaped praise on his former Clippers coach, Gina Mizell of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets“He’s the best coach I’ve ever had, he’s more than a coach to me … when a new player comes to a team, it’s always everybody trying to get them to feel acclimated, but with Doc, he’s gonna curse me out like I’ve been here all season,” said Jordan, who played 10 minutes in his Sixers debut on Monday.
  • The Raptors’ loss to the Cavaliers on Sunday makes it seem almost inevitable that Toronto will wind up in the play-in tournament, Josh Lewenberg of TSN Canada writes. The defeat dropped Toronto three games behind Cleveland, which sits in sixth place in the East and also holds a tiebreaker advantage over the Raptors.

DeAndre Jordan Signs With Sixers

MARCH 3, 7:58pm: The Sixers have officially signed Jordan and ended Cauley-Stein’s 10-day deal, the team confirmed in a press release. Jordan will earn a rest-of-season salary of $592,103, while Philadelphia takes on a cap hit of $374,126.

MARCH 3, 1:55pm: Jordan is expected to sign with the Sixers unless a team claims him off waivers prior to the 4:00pm CT deadline Thursday, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). A waiver claim is considered unlikely, says Wojnarowski.

The Sixers plan to release Willie Cauley-Stein from his 10-day contract a couple days early in order to sign Jordan, Wojnarowski tweets. Cauley-Stein’s 10-day deal had been on track to run through March 5.

FEBRUARY 28: The Sixers are the frontrunners to acquire DeAndre Jordan, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, though the timing of such a move will have luxury tax implications.

The Lakers are waiving DeAndre Jordan in order to add free agent guard D.J. Augustin. Once Jordan hits the waiver wire, his veteran’s minimum contract could be claimed by any team. Philadelphia, which has the seventh-best record in the league, is low in the pecking order.

As Bobby Marks of ESPN points out (Twitter link), Philadelphia currently has a projected $13.19MM tax bill and that would rise to $16.1MM if the team claims Jordan and his $1.66MM cap hit.

If the Sixers wait for Jordan to pass through waivers with the hope no other team claims him, they could sign him for the prorated veteran’s minimum. In that scenario, their projected tax bill would only increase to $13.8MM.

The Sixers have been seeking a veteran center to back up Joel Embiid since trading Andre Drummond to Brooklyn in the Ben SimmonsJames Harden blockbuster. They acquired Paul Millsap in that deal but Millsap, 37, is 6’7”’ and a natural forward. They also signed Willie Cauley-Stein to a 10-day deal but may view Jordan as a better option.

Lakers Officially Complete Roster Moves

The Lakers have announced in a press release that they have officially signed free agent point guard D.J. Augustin and free agent power forward Wenyen Gabriel, two moves that had previously been announced as being in the works.

Los Angeles opted to waive reserve center DeAndre Jordan, clearing a spot for Augustin on the 15-man roster. Gabriel will replace Sekou Doumbouya on a two-way deal with the club.

The 34-year-old Augustin, most recently with the Rockets earlier this season, will provide a veteran presence backing up starting point guard Russell Westbrook. Augustin was selected with the ninth pick in the 2008 draft out of Texas, six spots behind Westbrook.

The 5’11” vet has previously suited up for the Hornets (back when they were the Bobcats), Pacers, Raptors, Bulls, Pistons, Thunder, Nuggets, Magic, and Bucks, before landing with Houston midway through the 2020/21 season. This season, Augustin averaged 5.4 PPG, 2.2 APG and 1.2 RPG across 34 games (15.0 MPG) in a reduced role for a rebuilding Rockets club.

The reeling Lakers have lost seven of their last 10 games, and currently occupy the Western Conference’s ninth seed with a disappointing 27-33 record. In Augustin, they’ll add a reliable bench option with a solid shooting stroke from deep. For his career, Augustin is connecting on 38% of his 3.4 three-point attempts a night. This season, he is converting 40.6% of his 2.8 looks. Westbrook, meanwhile, is making 29.2% of his 3.4 three-point tries per night.

Gabriel, 24, will be playing for his third team this season, following stints with the Nets and Clippers. Across seven NBA games this season, the 6’9″ Kentucky alum is averaging 6.7 MPG. In 10 contests this season for the Bucks’ NBA G League affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd, Augustin averaged a far more robust 28.3 MPG, as well as 16.8 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 2.2 APG and 2.1 BPG.

Bobby Marks of ESPN adds (Twitter link) that Augustin will be earning a $622,467 salary through the rest of the season, with a cap hit of $393,312. That will increase the Lakers’ already-significant projected luxury tax bill to $45MM.

Jordan and Doumbouya are on track to clear waivers on Thursday if they’re not claimed. Both will be playoff-eligible if they join new teams. Jordan is reportedly receiving interest from the Sixers.

Lakers To Waive DeAndre Jordan, Sign D.J. Augustin

The Lakers are waiving DeAndre Jordan and are signing free agent guard D.J. Augustin. They also plan to sign forward Wenyen Gabriel to a two-way deal, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). The team had been seeking depth at the point behind Russell Westbrook.

Jordan played nine minutes in the blowout loss to New Orleans on Sunday but has seen limited action over the last two months. Overall, Jordan averaged 4.1 PPG and 5.4 RPG in 12.8 MPG in 32 games with the Lakers on a veteran’s minimum contract.

Jordan may not be out of work for long. The Sixers will aggressively pursue Jordan, either via a waiver claim or after he clears waivers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Augustin, meanwhile, was waived by the Rockets at the trade deadline. The 5’11” point guard, a 14-year NBA veteran, averaged 5.4 PPG, 2.2 APG and 1.2 RPG across 15.0 in 34 contests with Houston this season. Augustin, who has logged 955 regular-season games, will be playing for his 11th team.

Gabriel has spent time with the Nets, Clippers and Pelicans in 2021/22. All of his NBA contracts during this season were 10-day deals under the hardship provision.

Gabriel, who was waived by the Bucks during training camp, has played in seven NBA games this season — six for the Clippers and one for the Nets. The 24-year-old didn’t play at all during his most recent 10-day deal with New Orleans, but appeared in 21 games for the Pelicans last season. Overall, he has 58 career NBA appearances.

Los Angeles has Mason Jones and Sekou Doumbouya on two-way deals, so one of those players must be waived to make room for Gabriel.

Lakers Rumors: Westbrook, Hield, LeBron, Davis, Pelinka, Jordan

Last summer, the Lakers appeared to be on the verge of a deal with the Kings for Buddy Hield before pivoting and acquiring Russell Westbrook from Washington. Westbrook’s stint in Los Angeles hasn’t worked out like the Lakers have hoped, which apparently prompted the team to see if it could get a do-over of sorts on that offseason decision.

According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, sources say that one Westbrook trade idea the Lakers discussed earlier in the season would’ve involved Hield coming to Los Angeles. Obviously, that idea didn’t get off the ground — Westbrook ultimately remained in L.A. through the deadline, while Hield was sent to Indiana in a six-player blockbuster.

Here’s more on the Lakers:

  • As we relayed on Thursday, Lakers VP of basketball operations Rob Pelinka said he had conversations with LeBron James and Anthony Davis leading up to the trade deadline, suggesting there was “alignment” with the stars on the team’s decision to stand pat. However, a source familiar with James’ and Davis’ thinking who spoke to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin disputed that characterization. “Totally false,” that source told McMenamin (video link; hat tip to RealGM). “There was no conversation between Rob Pelinka, LeBron James and Anthony Davis on Thursday. There was no go-ahead of an OK to have inaction at the deadline.”
  • In a column on the Lakers’ trade deadline activity, Bill Oram of The Athletic suggests that rival teams may be leery of engaging in discussions with Pelinka due to his decision to pull out of what the Kings viewed as a trade agreement for Hield last summer.
  • As the Lakers peruse the buyout market in search of a player who could improve their roster, center DeAndre Jordan appears to be the most likely candidate to be waived, says Jovan Buha of The Athletic. Jordan is out of the team’s regular rotation and isn’t a fit with the Lakers’ “small-ball ethos,” Buha explains.