The Los Angeles Lakers have created one roster spot when they decided to send Ivica Zubac and Michael Beasley to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for Mike Muscala before the February NBA trade deadline. In the past weeks, the Lakers have already been linked to players who are or will be available on the buyout market, including former Houston Rockets small forward Carmelo Anthony and New York Knicks center DeAndre Jordan.
With his relationship with LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony is rumored to be the Lakers' top target on the buyout market. However, according to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, the 10-time NBA All-Star is clearly not the best choice for the Lakers. Though he could boost the Lakers' performance on the offensive end of the floor, Anthony remains a defensive liability.
After losing Ivica Zubac to the Clippers, Pincus suggested that the Lakers could target DeAndre Jordan once the Knicks buy out his contract. Pincus believes that Jordan will be a "better fit" with the Lakers than Anthony.
"A better fit would be New York Knicks center DeAndre Jordan, who the Lakers are eyeing before the March 1 playoff-eligibility waiver deadline. The Dallas Mavericks sent Jordan to New York in the Kristaps Porzingis trade. With the 11-47 Knicks focused on (or tanking for) the draft lottery, why wouldn't they let him out of his contract to join a contender? The Knicks recently bought out guard Wesley Matthews, who then signed with the Indiana Pacers, but Jordan remains in New York."DeAndre Jordan will undeniably be a great addition to the Lakers, giving them an All-Star caliber center who is an incredible rebounder and quality rim protector. In the 11 games he played with the Knicks, the 30-year-old center is averaging 11.1 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks on 68.2 percent shooting from the field. This season, Jordan also has shown a massive improvement with his free-throw shooting where he's currently hitting 2.6 out of 3.6 attempts per game.
At this point of his NBA career, DeAndre Jordan will surely love to play for a playoff contender than stay on a rebuilding team like the Knicks. However, even if the Knicks let him become an unrestricted free agent, it remains unknown if the Lakers will be his No. 1 option. Also, as of now, there is no clear indication that the Knicks are planning to buy out Jordan's contract before the March 1 playoff-eligibility waiver deadline.
When they acquired him from the Dallas Mavericks, there are speculations that the Knicks are planning to use DeAndre Jordan to convince Kevin Durant to take his talent to New York in the 2019 NBA free agency.