In his heyday, DeAndre Jordan was a force to be reckoned with down low. He was a rebounding champ, a shot-blocker extradonaire, a key piece in the high-flying “Lob City” Clippers teams that wreaked havoc in the Western Conference years ago.
Now? He’s far from all of that.
As such, it was no surprise that reports surfaced about the Nets’ inclination to offload Jordan and his hefty contract. The New York Post has reported that Brooklyn has tried to move the 6-foot-11 center through a trade, but those attempts to this point have been unsuccessful.
Then, on Monday, another report further indicated that a separation between the two sides is imminent: Jordan and the Nets are working toward parting ways via a contract buyout, according to a report from The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Alex Schiffer.
“Jordan is increasingly unlikely to be part of the organization moving forward, but the sides have not made a final decision,” Charania wrote. “Jordan did not appear in the Nets’ last 16 games of the 2020-21 season and playoffs.”
Recent reports have linked Jordan to the Lakers if he does, in fact, wind up being bought out by the Nets.
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Nets Beat Writer Thinks Jordan and the Nets Are Bound for a Breakup
Jordan has averaged 9.4 points, 10.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks over 932 games in his NBA career. Those averages dipped to 7.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.0 blocks a season ago – and that was before Nets coach Steve Nash relegated Jordan to the bench for the last 16 games of Brooklyn’s 2020-21 campaign.
“From what I’ve been hearing, I would be surprised if Jordan is a Net by the time the team heads to San Diego for training camp,” Schiffer wrote. “He’s already been shopped throughout the draft and offseason and you can start to read the writing on the wall. Now, assuming he’s gone, I’m curious about the exit route. Is it a trade, when there has already been a lack of a market for him and the Nets lack draft capital and young talent to part with for a significant return? Buyout? Waived? Regardless, I do not expect him back.”
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Who Starts at Center?
If Jordan is out of the mix, how will the center position play out for Brooklyn? Will Blake Griffin still be starting for the Nets by the end of the season? Will they pivot to the younger Nic Claxton? Could they instead go with a small-ball lineup?
Schiffer was asked those questions, too.
“I expect Griffin to start at center alongside the big three and Harris,” Schiffer wrote in his piece for The Athletic. “Claxton is likely the first big off the bench and maybe the Nets go small with Durant alongside James Johnson, similar to what they did with him and Jeff Green last season. Maybe Alize Johnson gets a crack in a similar lineup with Durant.”