As reported yesterday the Los Angeles Lakers will be releasing center DeAndre Jordan and the Sixers are the favorites to sign him. It’s been well known that Philadelphia has been in the market in finding a backup big. ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted also mentioning that the Sixers will aggressively pursue the center by either placing a waiver claim or working to sign DeAndre to a free-agent contract after clearing waivers.
Philadelphia is currently already over the luxury tax threshold and has a $13.19 million tax bill according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks. This means that signing Jordan or claiming him off waivers is more expensive than just Jordan’s contract and how he’s acquired affects the total cost as well.
Marks continued to say that the Sixers would take a cap hit of $1.66 million but due to the team being in the tax, it wouldn’t be as simple as that. If claimed, the total cap hit would be $16.1 million versus signing him as a free agent at $13.8 million making it a difference of $2.3M. Signing DeAndre to a free-agent contract would be ideal for the Sixers, but claiming him would not be the worst idea if the team believes he will not clear waivers.
The Sixers recently signed veteran center and 2015 6th overall draft pick Willie Cauley-Stein to a 10-day contract on February 24th. Cauley-Stein is six years younger than Jordan however he had only played five games this year with the Dallas Mavericks before being waived. The talents are comparable, even with Jordan being at his advanced age. The veteran experience and leadership are what sets the two players apart. The 76ers value these qualities from DeAndre, qualities needed down the stretch of this NBA season going into the postseason.
The Sixers have developed young talent the last two years, players like Isaiah Joe, Paul Reed, and Tyrese Maxey making and showing promise as young talents in this league. Head Coach Doc Rivers is known to lean on his veteran players in the playoffs, with DeAndre Jordan having played five years for Coach Rivers with the LA Clippers and one and a half years with James Harden in Brooklyn. There are many reasons the Sixers should make this move because of the relationship and familiarity with Coaches, players, and schemes that DeAndre has with them all.
This season, Jordan has played 32 games while starting 19 of them, averaging 4 pts, 5.4 rebs, in 12.8 mins with the LA Lakers. Although the numbers don’t jump off at the page, he fits with the Sixers’ need of an experienced big that knows the system. Jordan can still be productive in limited minutes, with his rebounding, rim defense, and another lob threat for James Harden. How much DeAndre Jordan plays will be determined by the matchup most times, but the depth and experience he brings to the team is the key that will be useful and is the best possible move for the Sixers for what’s left on the market.