Philadelphia 76ers: DeAndre Jordan is now a viable buy-out candidate

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Included as a filler in the Mavericks-Knicks Kristaps Porzingis trade, DeAndre Jordan could be an intriguing buy-out addition to the Philadelphia 76ers.

The trade deadline isn’t technically until February 7th, but the New York Knicks have kicked off the most wonderful time of the NBA calendar year with a bang: Trading Kristaps Porzingis, Courtney Lee, and Tim Hardaway to the Dallas Mavericks for Dennis Smith Jr., Wesley Matthews, DeAndre Jordan, and two future first round draft picks.

While this move only slightly affects the Philadelphia 76ers directly, as the team will no longer have to face off against the ‘Unicorn’ four times a year, and will no longer be able to even consider a trade for DSJ, it could have a big impact on their future moving forward.

Yes, really.

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According to Bobby Marks, ESPN’s NBA Front Office Insider, Jordan and Matthews are potential buyout candidates who could be looking for work elsewhere by March 1st, the last day a player is eligible to join a playoff-bound roster. While that shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, as the entire reason the Knicks made the move was to clear up cap space and flip long-term deals for two potential max contract spots in July, it does put two very solid players into the fold as mid-season free agents, ready to join any team they please.

Now initially, Matthews would seem like the player the 76ers should target, and there is some sound logic in that line of thought. At 6-foot-5, 220 pounds, Matthews is an ideal 3-and-D wingman in the modern NBA, even if he’s slipped a bit from his peak Portland Trail Blazers form.

Currently averaging 13.1 points on 38 percent shooting from beyond the arc, Matthews has the size, smarts, and switchability that many GM’s love to fill out their roster with, and will certainly draw heavy interest from virtually every playoff-bound team in the league.

However, he becomes a bit superfluous when the team also has Corey Brewer under contract.

While Brewer is technically still on a 10-day contract, and may not be signed for the remainder of the year (he will be), 00 has been putting in work to the tune of nine points and 2.2 steals a game. Those numbers are slightly lower than Matthews’ output in Dallas, but Brewer clearly has amazing chemistry with his new teammates and has already made his mark in less than a month.

However, the Philadelphia 76ers don’t have a player even close to DeAndre Jordan, except, of course, for Joel Embiid.

Embiid is without a doubt the best center in the NBA, but he’s also very injury prone and caused the entirety of the 215 to clutch their collective pearls when he fell awkwardly on his back in the fourth quarter of the team’s recent win over the Los Angeles Lakers.

And to make matters worse, Brett Brown had the audacity to re-insert his two-time All-Star starter to close out the game after their lead shrunk to 11.

If the Sixers are going to be competitive down the stretch, they need to find a bigtime backup to supplement Embiid in injury and in health and limit the All-Pro’s minutes in the lead up to the playoffs.

Asking Jordan to fill that role would be like running over a beer can with a tank.

Even though Jordan isn’t the player he once was back with the Lob City-era Clippers when he was a valued pick and pop partner with J.J. Redick, but the 3-time All-NBA defensive stopper still has plenty of value for a team looking for a defensive anchor in the paint.

However, Jordan does have some limitations that will, well, limit his potential market moving forward.

The anthesis of the modern-day stretch five, Jordan has only made one 3-point shot over his 11 seasons in the NBA. That’s obviously not great, but the Sixers really haven’t been too concerned with reserve big men having an outside game, as they’ve retained Amir Johnson for two straight seasons and he’s only making about .17 3 pointers a game over his 111 game tenure in the red, white, and blue.

Personally, I’ve always had a soft spot for Amir Johnson, but he’s no DeAndre Jordan.

Currently ranked the second best defensive center in the league according to ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus (4.07), Jordan is actually a better defender than Embiid statistically and could provide a sizeable cushion for the young big down the stretch.

Don’t get me wrong, there will most definitely be a market for him, but Philly has one thing that very few playoff-bound squads have at their disposal: a mid-level exception.

After initially penciling Nemanja Bjelica into the slot before his heel turn to the Sacramento Kings, Philly never filled the $4.4 million exception and could offer it to any player they please, like Brewer, Matthews, or even Jordan.

Next. The Sixers no longer have to worry about Kristaps Porzingis. dark

Would Jordan be willing to accept a smaller role, as a backup no less, to take another shot at postseason success over the back half of the season? That, my friends, is the $4.4 million question, but if he does decide that a reunion with J.J. Redick playing alongside the best young center in the league is a viable option to further his career and secure the bag moving forward, DeAndre Jordan is a wonderful fit with the Philadelphia 76ers.