The Los Angeles Lakers are making some tweaks to their roster before the final stretch of the season. The team plans to waive backup big man DeAndre Jordan and sign free agent guard DJ Augustin, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. With the move, the Lakers are clearly placing an emphasis on guard play and shooting, as opposed to post play. The Lakers also plan to sign forward Wenyen Gabriel to a two-way contract, per Charania.
Jordan appeared in 32 games for the Lakers this season and played 12.8 minutes per performance. Augustin played in 34 games for the Houston Rockets, but he was waived by the team earlier this month. Given the fact that he’s a career 38 percent shooter from long range, it’s not surprising to see a team like the Lakers pick him up for their playoff push.
Similarly, Jordan will likely be signed elsewhere in order to provide some frontcourt fortification for a team in the playoff hunt. The Philadelphia 76ers are expected to pursue him and could very well be the frontrunner for his services, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The Sixers lost their other backup center, Andre Drummond, in the trade that landed James Harden in Philadelphia.
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The Lakers have to hope that these moves will give them a bit of a boost, because they need whatever they can get right now. The Lakers have won just three out of their past 10 games, and currently sit ninth overall in the Western Conference standings with a 27-33 record. To make matters worse, Anthony Davis is sidelined for the foreseeable future with an ankle injury, so he isn’t even available to help the team make a large surge in the standings.
As an experienced veteran, Augustin will provide the Lakers with a steady hand when needed, but it’s tough to imagine his addition having a substantial impact on what has been an extremely underwhelming campaign for the purple and gold.