DeAndre Jordan’s role, to put it mildly, has changed in recent weeks. The starter for most of the season, DJ has now had four straight DNP-CDs and 12 straight games without any fourth quarter minutes. With Kevin Durant back and healthy, Blake Griffin and new starter LaMarcus Aldridge signed plus Nic Claxton’s exploding development, he’s out of the picture. Look at it this way: rookie Reggie Perry has played 13 minutes in the last four games. DJ hasn’t played at all.
Still, Brian Lewis reports that there is no talk of buying him out before tonight’s 11:59 p.m. buyout deadline. After midnight, players who are bought out or waived won’t be eligible for the post-season. The Nets apparently want him around for the post-season. The three-time All-NBA center has started 57 playoff games.
As Lewis writes Friday, while there were rumors of possible buyout talks, the speculation is unfounded ...
DeAndre Jordan appears to have been knocked out of the Nets’ rotation by a pair of big men plucked off the buyout market. But sources have told The Post the Nets have no intention of adding the veteran center to that buyout market.
“It’s never been discussed,” said a source.
Jordan, who’s healthy and has always been durable, simply doesn’t fit as well as the two buyouts, Lewis writes. At the time of the James Harden trade, which sent Jarrett Allen to Cleveland, Jordan held the center position almost by default. The Nets tried out a number of NBA journeymen at the 5, players like Norvel Pelle, Noah Vonleh and Tyler Cook. None of them worked. Then Claxton came back from knee tendinopathy and as the trade deadline approached, the Pistons shut down Griffin and the Spurs Aldridge. Sean Marks pounced. Finally, KD returned from a 23-game layoff. A position of weakness became a position of strength.
Jordan, of course, is close to a number of Nets players, not just Durant and Irving, who gave up money to help him get a big contract. He also played eight seasons with Griffin. For the record, he’s owed more than $25 million over the rest of this season and the next two seasons.
Will the Nets make any other moves Friday? It seems unlikely at the moment. Alize Johnson, whose second 10-day ends Saturday, has won the praise of Steve Nash and his teammates. So, he’s likely to stay. The Nets could sign him to a standard vets minimum deal after this weekend or tap into the taxpayer MLE and sign him for three years.
- Nets not looking to buy out DeAndre Jordan even as role diminishes - Brian Lewis - New York Post