In his first interview after his draft rights were traded to the Nets in July, French guard Isaia Cordinier says he believes Brooklyn is “very invested” in him. Cordinier is an athletic 6’5” who plays for Antibes in the French league. He was drafted by the Hawks at No. 44 in 2016, then had his rights dealt to the Nets on July 13 in the same deal that sent Jeremy Lin to Atlanta.
Cordinier’s rights were a small piece in the salary dump that the Nets used that same night to acquire enough cap space to carry out a trade with Denver that won them Kenneth Faried, the Nuggets first rounder in 2019 and a second rounder in 2020. In the Lin deal, the Nets also received a heavily protected Blazers second rounder in 2020 from the Hawks. They gave up a second rounder in 2025.
“Brooklyn looks very invested,” said the 21-year-old in an interview with Be Basket. “They called me in the day of the trade or the next day to welcome me. I went there for two days to do a lot of physical tests to find out where my knees are. They also follow my (rehabilitation) protocol in collaboration with Antibes. They will come to France regularly. That’s why I think it’s a good opportunity and it’s very good for me.”
Cordinier was referring to his knee surgery last January. After what he described as years of tendinitis pain, he decided to have surgery on both knees. He missed all of last season as a result. He’s still rehabilitating but expects to be back in the next month.
“It’s been five years since I played with no pain and in recent years I felt that it prevented me from evolving at my best regularly,” said Cordinier, who said he thought it would best to give up one season in hopes of mitigating the pain. He hopes to return to action after the Sharks sixth game, which takes place October 20. Cordinier said there are no guarantees and that he continues to work on strength and conditioning.
“I’m fine, I feel good, I continue to progress each day. I still have to do a little strength work in my legs so as not to overload the tendons,” he explained.
The Nets and Antibes have somewhat of a connection. His coach, Julien Espinosa, helped coach the Nets summer league team back in 2016.
Cordinier contrasted the Nets investment in him with how he was treated by Atlanta.
“I learned it from my friend (laughs),” he said when asked how he learned of the trade. “I wake up in the morning and see a text message: ‘Brother you were traded in Brooklyn.’ So I checked on Twitter and saw it was true,” he noted. “The Atlanta leaders never called me.”