In one of the longer, more drawn out sagas in Brooklyn Nets history, DeAndre Jordan was finally traded earlier this week to the Los Angeles Lakers.
The 33-year old, who’s lead the league in rebounding twice in 13 career seasons, joined the team in the same summer that brought Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
Now, he’s become the odd man out, as he’s aged far quicker than the other two Hall of Famers, and was on a salary that became increasingly unjustifiable.
Jordan leaves the Borough after averaging 7.9 points, 8.7 rebounds, and a block per game over 113 appearances with the team.
Some may have poor opinions of the way the Nets handled Jordan during his time with the team.
He went from starting center, to backup center, to out of the rotation, and back again on seemingly multiple occasions.
But in his inaugural press conference with the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday afternoon, DeAndre Jordan assured the media there aren’t any hard feelings.
Jordan Is ‘Excited’ to Be With Lakers
DeAndre Jordan joins a Los Angeles Lakers team that could set the record for the oldest, most decorated roster in history.
He’s the latest addition to a team that features multiple future Hall of Famers in the twilight of their careers: Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, LeBron James, and Rajon Rondo to name a few.
With their age, experience, and overall IQ, the Lakers are hoping that they’ll be able to outlast and outsmart the best of the best, including Jordan’s most recent team the Brooklyn Nets.
Perhaps he’ll face close friends Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in the 2022 NBA Finals a little over eight months.
Because despite how things shook out in the Borough, Jordan insists (via ESPN) they’ll remain close:
We’re friends before basketball, after basketball and I think ultimately we all just want to be happy. And being able to compete is something that’s very important to me and they understand that. And we’re brothers beyond basketball so us being teammates or not isn’t going to reflect on or affect our relationship.
Both of Durant and Irving pushed for Jordan to land in Brooklyn, but it’s yet to be reported whether or not they pushed for the team to keep him on.
Still, consider the veteran big man a fan of how the Nets front office handled his exit, which happened by way of a trade to the Detroit Pistons:
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.
Now, he’s looking forward, preparing to play next to guys he’s faced on opposite sides of the court on a number of occasions throughout his career:
Just to be able to be with a team like this with guys that you respect and guys that you’ve competed against for the past — going into my 14th season has been great in seeing, ‘I wonder what it would be like to play with this guy. And you always think about that, whether you tell people or not.
But as optimistic as the Brooklyn Nets may have been to part with DeAndre Jordan, and they’re willingness to give up four second-round picks implies they were, his absence only raises questions about their roster for next season.
Who’s Going to Start at Center?
DeAndre Jordan started 43 of his 57 appearances with the Brooklyn Nets last season, after the team traded Jarrett Allen in the James Harden deal.
That leaves the recently drafted Day’Ron Sharpe, and the returned LaMarcus Aldridge as the only traditional centers left on the roster.
Will either of them edge out one of Brooklyn’s “utility forwards” in what appears to be an open competition for the starting center role?
It seems unlikely, at least for now, barring any breakout rookie year for Sharpe or a renaissance season for Aldridge who’s just recently turned 36.
No, it looks as if the starting center slot, at least to start the season, will go to six-time All-Star and 11-year veteran Blake Griffin.
The 32-year old started all 12 of Brooklyn’s playoff games last season, and averaged nine points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.8 assists nightly.
He’s a better option than DeAndre Jordan, so trust that the Brooklyn Nets brass will lose no sleep over the switch at center they’ve made this offseason.