The Brooklyn Nets signed center DeAndre Jordan on June 30.
While most of the Brooklyn Nets offseason buzz has been centered around obvious candidates Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, the team made another important move that has flown a little more under the radar. The Nets acquired 11-year veteran DeAndre Jordan to play center for the team next season.
If it seems like DeAndre Jordan has been playing awhile, it’s because he has. Jordan’s first season was 2008-2009 when he was 20 years old. Jordan spent 10 years with the Los Angeles Clippers, part of the very good Blake Griffin and Chris Paul “Lob City” team.
Jordan led the NBA in rebounding two years in a row, averaging 13.6 and 15 rebounds a game during the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 seasons. He won First Team All-Defensive back to back years, during the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 seasons. Jordan led the NBA in field goal percentage five seasons in a row, starting in 2012-2013.
Following the 2017-2018 season, Jordan opted out of his deal with the rebuilding Clippers. He signed a 1-year deal worth $24.1 million with the Dallas Mavericks. However, his expiring contract was part of the Mavericks trade for Kristaps Porziņģis, and he was shipped to the New York Knicks. Overall, in 2018-2019, Jordan averaged 11 points and 13.1 rebounds per game, at the age of 30.
In June 2019, it was announced that Jordan signed a 4 year/ $40 million dollar contract with the Brooklyn Nets. NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted: “Free agents Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are taking less than the max to allow DeAndre Jordan to get the $10M annual salary with Brooklyn, league sources tell ESPN.”
While Jordan probably could have gotten a better deal on the open market, Jordan, Durant, and Irving made it work so they could all play together. Jordan wanted to stay in New York, just in a different borough.
Jordan has started every game he’s played since the 2011-2012 season, but the Nets have a talented young 21-year-old center in Jarrett Allen. Allen averaged 26.2 minutes per game last season, starting 80 games for the Nets. Brooklyn’s head coach Kenny Atkinson hasn’t committed to starting either player yet and is encouraging competition between Allen and Jordan in training camp.
In regards to the starting center competition, in an interview with BrooklynNets.com writer Tom Dowd, Atkinson said, “I look at it as our biggest strength. We have real depth there and we have real choices there. I hope that makes sense. Sure, it’s competitive. Those are two competitive guys. The problem is they both played really, really well today. It’s two really good players. It will evolve. It always plays itself out. Yeah, I think those guys both know that they’re competing for something.”
In his age 31 season, Jordan does not have the starting center role locked down. As I said in an earlier article about Allen, I would prioritize the 21-year-old’s development over Jordan, who is 10 years older than Allen. While Jordan has been getting over 30 minutes a night for most of his career, he will probably play a similar amount of minutes to Allen and play roughly 25 minutes a night. Regardless of who starts, the Nets have a lot of talent at the center position this upcoming season, and Jordan should be able to continue his double-double streak.
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Image Source: AP Images