The Summer League ends today and the Nets have to be thrilled with that their guys have shown, from Cam Thomas, who Bleacher Reports calls a “major steal” to David Duke Jr. and Jordan Bowden, two undrafted players who know how to play defense.
They’re also in the process of shaping up the roster, signing their two first round picks to guaranteed rookie deals; Kessler Edwards, their 44th pick, to a two-way contract; and Duke to an Exhibit 10 training camp arrangement. They’ve also rescinded their qualifying offer to Reggie Perry. All this on top of signing Patty Mills, James Johnson and DeAndre’ Bembry.
So what now? Are they thinking about what to do with DeAndre Jordan, their 33-year-old center whose best days are behind him. Steve Nash stopped playing DJ on May 8 and despite the bond between him and Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, there were credible reports that he was being offered around on Draft Night.
As Brian Lewis reports Tuesday, Sean Marks was basically non-committal about Jordan’s future when he spoke with the media a week ago.
“I think with all of our guys there’s always discussions,” Marks said when asked about Jordan. “And whether that’s reported or whether it’s not reported, I don’t want to use the old cliché but it’s a credit to our players that they come up in conversations or talks.
“When you have a good team, a good roster, people are obviously going to make calls. And from a GM standpoint, if we’re not having calls around the league then none of us would be doing our job. That’s what we do. Whether the roster looks the same in a month or two I really don’t know. But as it stands now, DeAndre is certainly part of this roster, part of this team moving forward.”
But for how long? There is no rush. Training camp doesn’t begin for another six weeks. Depending on what the priority is, the Nets have a number of options with Jordan...
—They can simply keep him and hope that they can find creative ways to use his talents. That seems unlikely considering how the Nets plan on running their offensive and defensive schemes.
—They can buy him out. Jordan is owed $19.7 million over the two years remaining on his deal, signed as part of the “Clean Sweep.” Normally, a buyout provides a player with between 67 and 75 percent of what he’s owed. That would mean Jordan would have to give up between $5 million and $6.5 million. That would bring the Nets some financial relief and a roster spot.
—They can simply waive him and pay him the full amount of his deal. That wouldn’t save them any money but would give them a roster spot (which they could leave open). It would be an extreme measure.
—They can engage another team in a salary dump but the price would likely be high, like one of their younger players. (They can’t trade a first rounder till 2028.) That would not sit well with fans.
—They can wait till the trade deadline in February to see if better options emerge ... and if another player like Kevin Love gets bought out and becomes available.
There’s no real intelligence on what the Nets plan to do, no indication either that Jordan, who joined the Nets to win a ring, wants out. Also, there doesn’t appear to be any deadline — or any financial edict — that needs to be met. Moreover, DJ is a popular teammate, a veteran presence. That counts for something.
Marks of course is all about flexibility ... and creativity. No one thought he’d use all five of his draft picks, but he did. He quickly got Kevin Durant’s signature on an extension and said he expects James Harden and Kyrie Irving’s signatures before camp opens on September 28.
- DeAndre Jordan remaining with Nets still far from certain - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- A comprehensive look at the Nets’ depth chart as Summer League wraps up - Kristian Winfield - New York Daily News
- Five thoughts on the Nets from NBA Summer League: Cam Thomas, Day’Ron Sharpe and Kessler Edwards - Alex Schiffer - The Athletic