Reports: Lakers waiving DeAndre Jordan (who could join 76ers), signing D.J. Augustin

D.J. Augustin in Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers
Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images

The Lakers curiously didn’t dump DeAndre Jordan before the trade deadline. If Jordan weren’t long for Los Angeles, paying another team – one not as deep into the luxury tax – to take Jordan looked obvious. The Lakers’ savings would’ve been significant, and the other team could’ve gotten cash for repurposing a roster spot.

Well, Jordan isn’t long for Los Angeles.

But the Lakers might get their cake (D.J. Augustin) and eat it, too (another team taking Jordan off their hands).

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

The 76ers claiming Jordan off waivers would be a boon to the Lakers. Los Angeles would save nearly $6 million in payroll and luxury tax.*

It’s less clear why Philadelphia would claim Jordan. Claiming him* instead of signing him to a new rest-of-season contract** would cost the 76ers more than $2 million in luxury tax. More importantly, Jordan has looked washed up at age 33. Another change of scenery probably isn’t the solution.

*Based on the Lakers waiving Jordan and signing Augustin for the rest of the season tomorrow, when Los Angeles plays its next game. Already waived by the Rockets, Augustin could sign any day until end of the regular season and be eligible for the playoffs.

**Based on the 76ers signing Jordan on Wednesday, when they play their next game. Jordan must be waived by tomorrow to be eligible for the playoffs with another team. However, he can sign any day until the end of the regular season.

Perhaps, the 76ers are just that desperate at backup center behind Joel Embiid. They traded Andre Drummond in the James Harden trade. In the narrowest of roles, Jordan might help Philadelphia.

Speaking of desperate… Augustin – whom Houston waived to fit Dennis Schroder before the trade deadline – might help the Lakers. Starting point guard Russell Westbrook has struggled. Backup point guard Kendrick Nunn remains injured. Other reserves, including Malik Monk and Avery Bradley, are combo guards.

Augustin underwhelmed with the Rockets this season and, before that, with the Bucks last season. Between, he was surprisingly effective in a no-pressure situation after getting traded to Houston last season. He’s a good 3-point shooter who could get good looks with LeBron James and Anthony Davis attracting attention. But the 34-year-old Augustin – who makes the Lakers even older than when they had Jordan – has shown aging in most facets of his game.

Though he lacks Jordan’s size, Gabriel will bring a welcome energy level. Los Angeles already has Dwight Howard to tangle with bigger foes behind or beside Davis, anyway.