For DeAndre Jordan, the writing has been on the wall that he would be on his way out this offseason.
“Center DeAndre Jordan and the Nets are working toward parting ways via contract buyout, sources tell me and Alex Schiffer. Jordan is increasingly unlikely to be part of the organization moving forward, but the sides have not made a final decision.” https://t.co/cBWqeHXVoY
— NetsDaily (@NetsDaily) August 30, 2021
During the draft, it seemed like his name was brought up around in every possible trade, and when Spencer Dinwiddie was traded to the Washington Wizards, many people speculate he would be on his way out. Sadly, it seems like the Brooklyn Nets have run out of options and that a buy-out might be on its way.
Jordan signed a four-year 40-million-dollar contract with the Nets in the same offseason that the Nets pulled off, signing Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Jordan was seen as a pivotal part of the future of the Nets that had high expectations. The now 33-year-old big man, who was once renowned for his defense, has taken a step back. He only averaged 7.9 points, 8.7 rebounds, and a block in 21.9 minutes in his two seasons with the Nets.
Last season Jordan did not fit with the new style of play that Head Coach Steve Nash was trying to use. On offense, Jordan’s primary role was as a pick and roller, finding himself in the dunker spot a lot, but as the Nets shifted to a more free-roaming and spacing style of offense, he could not find a role. His lack of a jump shot did not help, as the offense started to feature more three-pointers. He should have made most of his impact on defense, but the Nets switched to a heavy switching defense, which Jordan could no longer succeed in.
He was often caught out of position or turned around, leading to open layups.
Harden was trying to coach his new team after trailing early vs. Detroit. pic.twitter.com/mSpVQo17oo
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 10, 2021
With Jordan’s connection with Durant and Irving, it seemed like the Nets were unlikely to move Jordan. However, Jordan was just not at the level he needed to be on the court, and the stars did start to pick up on that, as you could see the big three getting frustrated with Jordan. The Nets know what is best for the team, and Jordan might no longer be a part of that plan.
The re-signing of Blake Griffin might have been the final thing the Nets needed to move on. Jordan would play most of his minutes against teams that had size, and when Griffin came along midseason, he started to fill in that role and do a better job. Griffin ended up taking Jordan’s starting job, and when the playoffs came, Jordan road the bench the whole time, not even getting garbage time minutes.
The Nets have some young talent at the Center position. Nicolas Claxton seems to be the young player that will fit right into the role that Jordan will be leaving. Like Jordan, Claxton’s offensive game is pretty much setting a pick and running to the rim to catch a lop, which because of his age, might give Claxton the advantage right now. On defense, Claxton does lack the “grown man strength” that Jordan has, as Claxton has only played in two NBA seasons, and in both, he missed massive chunks of time due to injury. However, Claxton is a great rim protector, averaging 1.3 blocks per game in just 18.6 minutes, and if given the minutes, he can hopefully expand on that. Just as an add-on, Claxton has become a great perimeter defender because of his athleticism and length. Because of the Nets’ heavy switch defense, Claxton was often on an island with a guard and stood his ground.
The Nets also drafted Day’Ron Sharpe with the 29th pick in the NBA Draft, making him another possible replacement. Sharpe is a good rebounder and solid defender. Sharpe also hustles every time on the court, which you need when you have limited minutes, and play with ball dominate stars. The Nets will probably want to develop him in the G-League or have him play some minutes in the NBA, and letting Jordan go will open those minutes.
Along with the re-signing of Griffin, the Nets also re-signed Bruce Brown and signed James Johnson. Brown nor Jonshon are true Centers, but the Nets often play a free form of positionless basketball on both sides of the court. Brown often found himself as a screener and roller on offense, and Johnson can be a small ball Center facilitator from the post and wing.
Finally, buying out Jordan might not be the best move because it does seem like he might have some value left. The Los Angeles Lakers have already been rumored to be interested in a buy-out if that does happen.
One suitor to keep an eye on, sources said, should DeAndre Jordan and the Brooklyn Nets reach a contract buyout: the Los Angeles Lakers.
— Jake Fischer (@JakeLFischer) August 30, 2021
On the other hand, there is no pathway where Jordan gets minutes on next season’s team, just due to fit and the amount of young and veteran talent added to this roster this offseason.
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