All-Star center DeAndre Jordan was supposed to be an added bonus for the Brooklyn Nets in the summer of 2019. He signed a deal to join the franchise as a free agent along with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant who are two of his closest friends. Jordan for most of his career was viewed as a big and athletic center who could fit in well with fast-paced offenses. He showcased this during his time with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and the ‘Lob City’ era of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Unfortunately for Jordan, father time remains undefeated. With added age, he has lost a step of his athleticism which made him a liability for the Nets. As a result Jordan was phased out of Brooklyn’s rotation. This summer the Nets traded Jordan to the Detroit Pistons and after reaching a buyout agreement with Detroit he signed a deal with the Los Angeles Lakers. Despite joining the Nets’ biggest threat to winning this year’s title Jordan insists the bond between him, Kyrie and KD will never change.
“We’re definitely not friends anymore, so,” Jordan joked during his introductory press conference per ESPN
“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.”
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DeAndre Jordan Talks About His Split From the Nets
After Brooklyn lost their rising star center Jarrett Allen in the James Harden trade last January, head coach Steve Nash struggled to figure out who would be the Nets’ official starting center between Jordan and Nicolas Claxton. After being phased out of the Nets rotation during the playoffs, it was imminent that Jordan would not be a part of the team’s plan going forward.
At 33 years old, Jordan still feels that he still has a lot to prove and can contribute to a contender even if that contender is someone other than the Nets.
“It was just both parties wanted to figure out something that was best for both of us,” Jordan said of the Nets trading him. “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.”
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Blake Griffin Could See Minutes at Starting Center
With Jordan officially out of the picture for the Nets, questions still remain about who will start at center for Brooklyn. Obviously, the top candidate would be their All-Star center LaMarcus Aldridge, but they do have other viable options. One of those options would be Jordan’s former ‘Lob City’ co-star Blake Griffin.
At 6’10 Griffin is a little undersized to play center. However, if the Nets wanted to implore a small-ball lineup this season, with Griffin’s athleticism he would fit perfectly into that mold. Alex Schiffer of The Athletic reports that it is a possibility the Nets at least test out that lineup this season.
“I expect Griffin to start at center alongside the big three and (Joe) Harris,” Alex Schiffer wrote in a recent report for The Athletic. “(Nic) 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.”
It won’t take Jordan long to reunite with his now ex-teammates as the Nets and Lakers will square off in preseason action on October 3.
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