Last July, the Nets made a series of moves that got them cap space, a Nuggets first rounder in this year’s draft; a Nuggets second in 2020; Kenneth Faried and ultimately Jared Dudley and other second from the Suns in 2021. It cost them Jeremy Lin, a pick swap of second rounders with the Hawks in 2023 along with a second in 2025.
And buried in the details of the three near-simultaneous deals, the Nets also received the Hawks’ draft rights to Isia Cordinier, a then 21-year-old French shooting guard who had had double knee surgery seven months earlier to cure chronic tendinitis, a condition that had bothered him his entire career, including two summer league stints with the Hawks in Las Vegas.
The Nets apparently asked for Cordinier, taken at No. 44 in the 2016 Draft and Atlanta was willing to give him up. He had missed all of 2017-18 because of the tendinitis, then the surgery and he wasn’t in their future plans. Adrian Wojnarowski may have tweeted that “you’ll probably never see him” but Sam Vecenie of The Athletic wrote that he believed the Nets “see him as something of an asset.”
Indeed, it seems that analysis was correct. After playing with minutes restrictions early in the season, the hyper-athletic 6’5” shooting guard has taken off in the last month and a half.
In the past seven games, Cordinier has averaged 15.3 points on 55 percent shooting overall and 39.1 percent from beyond the arc. Cordinier has also averaged 5.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.7 steals.
Here’s video of Cordinier’s 19-point, 8-rebound, 3-assist game for the Antibes Sharks of the French A League Saturday. He’s No. 10 in white. As noted, he is long and very athletic.
The Nets, Cordinier said earlier in the season, have been tracking him.
“Brooklyn looks very invested,” said the now 22-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.”
The Nets being the Nets haven’t said anything about Cordinier’s development or their plans for him, but he’s looking like the equivalent of a second round pick. He doesn’t turn 23 until November and it’s not out of the question that he’ll play for them in the summer league this July. They could also bring him to the U.S. next season as a G League player. The Nets player development coordinator is Shaun Fein who was once a teammate of Cordinier’s in France.
Whatever happens, it looks like the Nets came out of those July deals with a hidden asset. Can’t beat that.