As Stein explains, Jordan is good friends with Kevin Durant, one of Brooklyn’s top free agent targets, and the Nets would like to add Jordan in the hopes that it would help entice Durant to Brooklyn along with Kyrie Irving.
If the Nets were to sign Durant and Irving to maximum-salary contracts, it would almost certainly leave the club with only the room exception available for free agents. That exception is projected to be worth $4.76MM, and it’s not clear if that will be enough to sign Jordan, who earned nearly $23MM last season.
The Nets aren’t the only ones who believe that the presence of Jordan might be attractive to Durant — their cross-town rivals, the Knicks, acquired Jordan in their Kristaps Porzingis blockbuster in February and didn’t buy out Jordan along with Enes Kanter and Wesley Matthews, viewing the veteran big man as a potential teammate for KD in 2019/20. New York has continued to show interest in re-signing Jordan, depending on how the team’s offseason plays out, per Stein (Twitter link).
While he’s not the perennial Defensive Player of the Year contender he once was, Jordan has appeal beyond his friendship with Durant. As Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News observes (via Twitter), Brooklyn didn’t have the big bodies to match up inside with the likes of Joel Embiid last season and got crushed by Philadelphia’s size and physicality in the playoffs. Acquiring a center like Jordan would help address that issue.