The Nets most recent signing, Jerome Jordan, could give Brooklyn an intriguing piece who might be kept on past training camp.
Jordan has only played 21 career games in the NBA, with the Knicks in 2011-2012, but he has ideal size for a big man in Lionel Hollins' system. Hollins likes playing two big men at once, for example Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, ... and Jordan is seven-footer with a mid-range game.
The former Tulsa big man can give the Nets a player off the bench that provides them with not only size, but also a pick-and-pop skill who could play minimal minutes behind the likes of Mason Plumlee, Kevin Garnett, and Mirza Teletovic. Mikki Moore much?
Considering his sample size in the NBA is so small, Jordan's D-League experience is much more useful indicator of what he can do. The big fella shot 59% for four different teams in a span of two seasons in the developmental league while also blocking two shots per game. Jordan has incredible length, possessing a 7'6" wingspan, as NBADraft.net noted when he was going through the draft process four years ago, and could be a fine rim protector in the league. "His length also makes him a presence defensively (over 300 career blocks at Tulsa), with potential to improve if he focuses on it," the draft website wrote in 2010.
Apologies for the grainy quality, but Synergy doesn't have any video of Jordan's time in the NBA, so this is the best we got. It's his D-League highlights from the Erie Bayhawks, formerly the Knicks' affiliate.
In these several clips from one game, where he played with Jeremy Lin, it is clear that multiple facets of Jordan's game could be useful at the next level. Jordan can run the floor and has confidence in his jumper, both spot up and turn around, things that the Nets could utilize this season. The big man can play positive minutes as a rim protector and as a floor spacer ... even in limited minutes.
There are obviously flaws in Jordan's game. It has been well chronicled that he struggles with intensity on the floor. NBADraft.net laid out some of his key weaknesses in the same analysis of his game.
Shows flashes but his level of effort and intensity lacks consistency within games ... He's naturally a laid back guy and has trouble at times flipping the switch on the floor and becoming intense ... Lack of intensity has been a barrier for him ... Considering his length, should be a more dominant shot blocker. His timing and natural instincts are just average.
This could be a major issue for a team that has some very committed players like Kevin Garnett on the roster, KG wants 100% commitment every single game. Whatever might have been said of him before the Draft, since then he has shown he wants to play. He's spent time overseas in the Philippines and Italy, played for D-League teams in Erie, Los Angeles, and Reno while working out for NBA clubs in New York, Houston, Indiana, L.A. and Memphis, where Hollins had him in camp two years ago. A native of Kingston, Jamaica, he's also played for that country's national team in FIBA competition. That itinerary alone says commitment.
In a role that will likely be very marginal but not detrimental, IF he makes the team, Jordan can come onto the roster and possibly reach the potential that the Milwaukee Bucks saw when they selected him at No. 44 overall in 2010.
The problem with potentially keeping Jordan is that the Nets will probably have to cut someone already on the roster. The Nets have 15 players under contract, but two of have only partial guarantees: Jorge Gutierrez and Cory Jefferson. Gutierrez will likely be pitted against Marquis Teague in a competition for the limited minutes behind Dern Williams and Jarrett Jack. At this point, Teague is more likely to stay on the roster. He'll cost the Nets $3 million if he is waived. Hollins also reportedly sees potential in Teague's speed and quickness and might want to keep the 21-year-old around and develop him. Gutierrez could be cut because he has a tiny guarantee, at $25,000, and will get it only if he is still on the roster on September 26, the opening day of training camp. He was battling a shoulder injury throughout the FIBA World Cup.
It is difficult to see Jefferson getting cut because he cost the Nets $300,000 on Draft Night and already has $75,000 in guaranteed money this season. Jefferson also gives the Nets a developmental piece off the bench, although at 24, Jefferson is only three years younger than Jordan. I can see the two battling for some minutes this season, but I think Jefferson is the long-term option of the two. Still, Jordan does have the experience.