When DeAndre Jordan signed with the Nets as a free agent in 2019, his friendships with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were key factors in his decision. Having departed Brooklyn this offseason, he made it clear that he remains close with Durant and Irving, but that the time was right for he and the Nets to move in different directions after he fell out of the team’s rotation at the end of last season.
“It was just both parties wanted to figure out something that was best for both of us,” Jordan said, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “And I feel like they gave me that respect as a veteran player to be able to understand that I wanted to be able to compete. … It just worked better for both of us.”
Jordan isn’t necessarily as close with anyone on his new team (the Lakers) as he was with Durant and Irving, but he said on Thursday that he’s looking forward to getting the opportunity to team up with several veterans that he has matched up against frequently over the years.
“Just to be able to be with a team like this with guys that you respect and guys that you’ve competed against for the past — going into my 14th season has been great in seeing, ‘I wonder what it would be like to play with this guy,'” Jordan said. “And you always think about that, whether you tell people or not.”
Here’s more from around the Pacific:
- Suns point guard Chris Paul called it an “easy decision” to return to Phoenix as a free agent this offseason, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. “Not only did I love the basketball aspect, I’m close to family (in Los Angeles) and Phoenix is a family, too,” Paul said. “I’m excited to be back there.”
- Tyrese Haliburton‘s name has popped up in trade speculation this offseason, though multiple reports have stated the Kings don’t intend to include him in any offer for Ben Simmons. For his part, Haliburton laughed off those trade rumors, as James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area relays. “I kind of just laugh about it,” Haliburton said during an appearance on J.J. Redick‘s The Old Man and the Three podcast. “I don’t really think it’s that realistic. I don’t see it happening.”
- Seth Cooper, who had been a player development coach in Golden State, will be the head coach of the Santa Cruz Warriors in the G League this season, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link). Kris Weems, who was the head coach in Santa Cruz, will join the NBA team as a player development coach, Slater adds.