Insider Predicts Lakers Will Cut Former Starter to Sign 4-Time All-Star

Rob Pelinka, Lakers

Getty Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka faces some difficult decisions as the NBA trade deadline approaches.

DeAndre Jordan has fallen out of favor with the Los Angeles Lakers prompting some speculation that his short tenure with the team may be coming to an end. CBS Sports’ Sam Quinn speculates that the Lakers could cut Jordan and use the roster spot to sign newly-released center DeMarcus Cousins.

“I wouldn’t be overly surprised if DeAndre Jordan is traded somewhere with cash or a second in the next few days so the Lakers can sign Boogie,” Quinn tweeted on January 5. “LeBron and AD still swear by him.”

Quinn’s take came after The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported the Bucks were moving on from Cousins. The veteran big man averaged 9.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists in his 17 games with the Bucks, which included five starts. According to Charania, Cousins is expected to garner interest from other teams.

“The Milwaukee Bucks plan to waive center DeMarcus Cousins, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium,” Charania detailed on Twitter. “Bucks are opting for roster flexibility ahead of league-wide contract guarantee date Friday. There’s expected to be interest in Cousins as a free agent.”

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Vogel on Cousins: ‘One of the Most Versatile Skillsets of Any Big in the League’

Cousins signed with the Lakers in 2019 but injuries prevented the four-time All-Star from playing a game in an L.A. uniform. During his brief stint, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel praised Cousins’ potential as he continued to get healthy and explained how he could ease some of the burden off of LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

“Well obviously you’ve got one of the most versatile skillsets of any big in the league with his ability to play at the top of the key, his passing is underrated, his three-point shooting, the offensive rebounding force that he brings to the table, playing through the post,” Vogel said in February 2020, per Sports Illustrated. “Like I said, he’s been double-teamed a lot in his career, and would command a double-team, so there’s a lot that he would bring to the table for sure.”

Lakers Could Move on From Jordan

This is not the first time Jordan’s future with the Lakers has been reported to be in danger. With the Lakers choosing to lean on Dwight Howard, Jordan’s time with the Lakers could be coming to an end, per ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.

“A team to watch is the Lakers, so [the] Lakers have a full roster and they’re cost sensitive,” Windhorst explained during the December 28 edition of The Hoop Collective podcast. “But DeAndre Jordan is playing very poorly for them, and basically LeBron is playing a lot of minutes at center right now. I don’t think he’s starting at center but the second half on Christmas they started him at center…or they played Carmelo for a few minutes at center, which was laughable.

“It could be a situation where the Lakers are like, we’re going to cut DeAndre Jordan to keep a player, possibly, if Stanley Johnson works out or something like that.”

Windhorst’s comments came before the Lakers opted to trade Rajon Rondo to open up a roster spot, but the general idea about Jordan’s shaky future stands. It will be interesting to watch how aggressive the Lakers are in the Cousins sweepstakes.