In what is expected to be the second-most exciting trade of the season, the Dallas Maverickssent Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews and two future first-round picks to the New York Knicks for Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee and Trey Burke.
Shortly after the trade, there were rumors that Matthews and Jordan could be potential buyout candidates, but everything that has come out the Knicks’ locker room so far suggests they’ll be with the team for the rest of the season. After that, both Matthew and Jordan will hit unrestricted free agency.
Jordan will be one the bigger names in free agent center pool this summer along with DeMarcus Cousins, Al Horford (player option), Marc Gasol (player option) and Nikola Vucevic. In the likely event that he doesn’t re-sign with the Knicks, Jordan is considering a return to Los Angeles, either with the Los Angeles Clippers or the Lakers, according to Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times:
Jordan would like to return to Los Angeles, and he’s still close with coach Doc Rivers. Some NBA scouts believe a pairing with the Lakers, perhaps next summer, makes sense for Jordan, too.
Upon arrival, Jordan would be the best center the Lakers have had since Andrew Bynum in 2012.
He doesn’t fit the bill of the “modern,” floor-spacing bigs so many teams covet, but he makes up for it by being a force defensively. Despite averaging just 1.1 blocks per game this season, Jordan is among the league leaders in Defensive Box Plus-Minus (+3.6) and Defensive Win Shares (2.7), per basketball-reference. He also leads the league in total defensive rebounds (536).