Career of Ex-Sixer, Former All-Star Brought into Question

DeAndre Jordan, Philadelphia 76ers

Getty Ben Simmons #10 of the Brooklyn Nets talks with DeAndre Jordan #9 formerly of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Last season, the Philadelphia 76ers fell short in their ceaseless quest for a Finals win. But it’s not for lack of trying. Or, in the case of 2021-22, for lack of adding pieces late into the season to get the team over a perceived hump.

The Sixers did that in several ways last season.

The most obvious was the James Harden-Ben Simmons trade. A one-for-one star-studded blockbuster that killed two problems in one transaction.

But then there are the underrated moves, like last March’s signing of DeAndre Jordan. The Sixers desperately needed a backup for Joel Embiid after Andre Drummond was packaged to Brooklyn. So two days after he was waived by the Lakers, the Sixers signed the former All-Star for the rest of the season.

The 14-year vet failed to have much of an impact in Philadelphia. That’s become a trend for the big man, according to Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey, who named Jordan one of the league’s “most overrated players” of the last decade.

Bailey: Jordan ‘Comically Bad’

Let’s take a step back for just a moment.

Yes, Jordan was on some wildly entertaining Clippers teams. And yes, his poster on Brandon Knight was, indeed, vicious. But Bailey’s deep dive into Jordan’s career revealed a few glaring warts.

“[From 2012-2017], L.A. was minus-1.9 points per 100 possessions when Jordan played without Chris Paul,” Bailey wrote for Bleacher Report. “That number is more in line with what we’ve seen from Jordan over the last five years.”

Bailey went on to bemoan Jordan’s on/off ranking. And, spoiler alert, it’s bad.

“Since 2017-18,” Bailey explained, “Jordan’s teams are minus-3.4 points per 100 possessions when he plays and plus-1.8 when he doesn’t. Among the 1,002 players who’ve logged any time in an NBA game in those five seasons, Jordan’s raw plus-minus of minus-576 ranks 966th.”

Yet somehow, Jordan continues finding ways to get another contract. While he didn’t re-up with the Sixers this summer, he did manage to snag a deal from the Denver Nuggets backing up Nikola Jokic.

And it’s not like it’s only Jordan’s offense that’s sinking his teams. Per Bailey, his defense leaves much to be desired.

“Inattention on defense (especially off the ball), a lack of any offensive game beyond finishing spoon-fed dunks or the occasional putback and a comically bad free-throw percentage (48.2 during the last 10 years) all contribute to those marks.”

Re-Evaluating the Jordan-Allen Swap

Yet one of the most damaging knocks on Jordan has nothing to do with his performance on the floor.

In 2021, the Nets traded away a young and promising center named Jarrett Allen to the Cavaliers to make room for Jordan. The move was a part-savvy GM move by Cavs GM Koby Altman and a part-superstar-appeasing move by the Nets.

Unfortunately for the Nets, Allen’s career has blossomed while Jordan is long gone from the Nets roster.

In fact, Allen would be an ideal fit on this Nets team, which lacks the size to hang with the East’s superstars in Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Bailey included the Nets-trade nugget in his dismissal of Jordan’s career.

“The Brooklyn Nets traded Jarrett Allen in January 2021 at least in part to make more time for him, according to ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz,” wrote Bailey. “This summer, his deal with the Denver Nuggets was one of the first announced when free agency began.

“The trust in him is increasingly difficult to understand. As he enters his age-34 season, it’s hard to imagine the aforementioned trends reversing.”

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