Lakers plan to sign center DeAndre Jordan after he clears waivers

Brooklyn Nets' DeAndre Jordan plays during an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
DeAndre Jordan was traded by Brooklyn to Detroit on Friday, but it’s likely the veteran center and former Clipper will land with the Lakers. (Matt Slocum / Associated Press)

Center DeAndre Jordan, one of the pillars of the Clippers rebuild from afterthought into perennial playoff team, will probably return to Los Angeles — this time with the Lakers.

Jordan, who was dealt from Brooklyn to Detroit on Friday, has accepted a contract buyout from the Pistons, paving the way for him to land with the Lakers once he clears waivers, according to NBA insiders with knowledge of the situation who are not authorized to speak publicly.

The 34-year-old center averaged 7.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.1 blocked shots in nearly 22 minutes per game last season for the Nets. He started 43 games for Brooklyn before being benched for small-ball lineups late in the season. He didn’t appear in the playoffs.

Jordan would join a Lakers roster that already re-signed Dwight Howard, a key bench piece in the 2020 NBA championship season, this offseason. The Lakers also have center Marc Gasol on the roster, though there’s been speculation about the final year of his deal with the team.

League insiders expected a split between the Lakers and Gasol after he moved from the team’s starting lineup to its third-string center following the Lakers’ signing of Andre Drummond. Facing a must-win game to extend their season, the Lakers turned back to Gasol in the starting lineup in a Game 6 loss to the Phoenix Suns.

This summer during the Tokyo Olympics, Gasol said he planned to return to the Lakers.

Drafted by the Clippers in 2008, Jordan became one of the NBA’s most dynamic centers at the rim, becoming a top defender and a devastating pick-and-roll partner who led the league in field-goal percentage for five consecutive seasons. Jordan was a three-time All-NBA center and an All-Star in 2017.

He played 10 seasons for the Clippers, averaging 9.4 points and 10.7 rebounds, before moving on to Dallas, New York and, for the last two seasons, Brooklyn.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.