DeAndre Jordan’s tenure with the Nets has officially come to an end as the three-time All-NBA and two-time NBA All-Defensive Team member joins the Los Angeles Lakers. At the start of the 2019-2020 NBA season, DeAndre Jordan was the starting center for the Nets; however, as the season progressed, Jordan’s role continually reduced. The additions of both Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge midseason with the development of Nicolas Claxton essentially knocked Jordan out of the Nets’ rotation, leading to no playoff minutes for Jordan this past postseason. With many free-agent signings, including veteran big man Paul Millsap, it became clear that Brooklyn no longer had a need for Jordan or his costly contract.
After Jordan’s departure from the Nets was official, rumors surrounding his release began to surface. Allegedly, Jordan made a demand to Nets head coach Steve Nash midseason that eventually backfired on him.
Alex Schiffer from The Athletic recently appeared on Jake Fischer’s Bleacher Report live show where Jordan and his release were discussed. Schiffer revealed that prior to the Nets’ trade for James Harden, DeAndre Jordan strongly believed that he deserved to start over Jarrett Allen.
As mentioned previously, Jordan actually was the starter for the Nets during the first seven games of the season. Unfortunately, after a disappointing start at 3-4, Nash made the decision to start Allen over Jordan, which could have led Jordan to make his demand to start, although this has not been confirmed.
After the Harden trade, the issue seemed to sort itself out as Jarrett Allen was sent away as part of the deal. This resulted in Jordan starting in 43 out of 57 games played for the season; however, Nash believed that Jordan underperformed, resulting in the center being completely taken out of the lineup for the playoffs.
Despite all of the rumors, at his introductory press conference on Thursday, Jordan stated “It was just both parties wanted to figure out something that was best for both of us … And I feel like they gave me that respect as a veteran player to be able to understand that I wanted to be able to compete. … It just worked better for both of us.
Jordan and the Lakers are the favorites out of the West, while the Nets remain the favorites out of the East. It is likely that Jordan and his old squad may reunite for an epic 2022 NBA finals.