The Los Angeles Lakers officially signed DeAndre Jordan on Thursday and Dwight Howard is thrilled to have the new big man on board.
Howard had a message for Jordan that he delivered via Instagram, expressing his excitement to play alongside him.
“I see greatness in you. Let’s go [DeAndre Jordan],” Howard wrote in the caption on a photo of the two talking on the court.
Jordan and Howard have similar skill sets but can provide a pairing like what the Lakers had during their championship year in 2020 with Howard and JaVale McGee.
“It’s been great being able to see him,” Jordan said of Howard, “and now we’re teammates is awesome.”
A 13-year NBA veteran, Jordan appeared in 57 games with 43 starts for the Nets last season. He averaged 7.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.1 blocks in 21.9 minutes, shooting a career-best 76.3 percent from the field. Jordan is the only player in NBA history with multiple seasons shooting over 70 percent from the field.
Howard averaged 7.0 points and 8.4 rebounds last season with Philadelphia. Howard provided nearly 20 minutes per game, 7.5 rebounds and 7.3 rebounds with the Lakers in 2020 when the Lakers won the title.
DeAndre Jordan Excited to Mesh With New Teammates
Jordan now gets to combine forces with Howard and other veterans like LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and others who he has admired from afar.
“Just to be able to be with a team like this with guys that you respect and guys that you’ve competed against for the past — going into my 14th season has been great in seeing, ‘I wonder what it would be like to play with this guy,'” Jordan said. “And you always think about that, whether you tell people or not.”
The Lakers also have Marc Gasol on the roster, but his return to LA is uncertain. Gasol, 36, averaged just over 19 minutes per game, starting 42 of the 52 games he played in last season. However, his role on the team got very complicated once Andre Drummond was signed.
DeAndre Jordan Alright With Departure From Nets
Jordan didn’t have the best tenure with the Nets but felt like he left on a good note with his teammates, which included Kevin Durant, James Harden, Kyrie Irving and his old running-mate in LA, Blake Griffin.
“We’re friends before basketball, after basketball and I think ultimately we all just want to be happy,” Jordan said. “And being able to compete is something that’s very important to me and they understand that. And we’re brothers beyond basketball, so us being teammates or not isn’t going to reflect on or affect our relationship.”
Jordan is hoping to reach the Finals with the Lakers after some tough injury issues cut his playoff runs with the Clippers nad Nets short.
“Obviously, as you get older you start to see different things and honestly with the Clippers teams that we had, we had some bad luck,” Jordan said. “On the team that I was on last year, we had a little bad luck with injuries and some small things like that. But you definitely don’t want to take it for granted. … I’m excited to be able to be here and jell with these guys and build chemistry and it’s going to be a process but I think we’re all ready and excited for it.”
The Nets (+240) are the title favorites next season, with the Lakers next up at +400, per Vegas Insider.