DeAndre Jordan

Lakers Notes: Centers, Monk, Two-Ways, Brown, Queen

With Anthony Davis expected to see more action at the center spot this season, it remains to be seen how much playing time former All-NBA big men Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan will get at the five for the Lakers. However, as Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times writes, Jordan isn’t overly concerned about how many minutes he’ll play.

“That’s the blessing of it, having a lot of different lineups that you can use. And I think each game is gonna have a say on what we do,” Jordan said on Saturday. “We can be rolling with a huge lineup. And, you know, we’ll win with that. And some games may need us to go small. And I think that at this point of my career, of all of our careers, you know, at the end of the day, ultimately, we just want to be able to win and be able to achieve something as a collective.”

Howard, who played a career-low 17.3 minutes per contest last season in Philadelphia, shares Jordan’s philosophy.

“Leave the ego at the door, leave it at home when you wake up,” Howard said of his role. “There’s no need to have it. We all represent this emblem that’s behind me, this Laker logo. We understand that, and it’s whatever the team needs to win.”

Here’s more on the Lakers:

  • Malik Monk‘s impressive preseason debut on Sunday further complicates an already-crowded battle for playing time at shooting guard, according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, who observes that the Lakers will have to find time at the two for Monk, Wayne Ellington, Talen Horton-Tucker, Kent Bazemore, and Kendrick Nunn. Nunn has generally played point guard, but may not see much action there if Russell Westbrook plays big minutes and Rajon Rondo has a regular role, Buha notes.
  • Cameron Oliver, Mac McClung, Chaundee Brown, and Trevelin Queen are the camp invitees currently in the mix for the Lakers’ second two-way contract slot, but the team could end up going outside of the organization to fill that spot, as Buta writes in the same story. “We’re gonna see how the preseason plays out,” head coach Frank Vogel said. “See who all is available, both the guys that are here, or who are around the league, guys that might get cut, and we’ll make a decision closer to opening night.”
  • If the Lakers do convert one of their current camp invitees to a two-way contract, Brown and Queen may be the frontrunners, says Buha. Both of those players are wings, which might be the Lakers’ biggest need.

Nets Notes: Carter, Aldridge, Jordan, Millsap

The Nets will open their preseason Sunday afternoon against the Lakers, but most of their big names won’t be playing, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. The expected starting five of Kevin Durant, James Harden, Kyrie Irving, Joe Harris and Blake Griffin will all be held out of the game, along with offseason additions Patty Mills and James Johnson. Coach Steve Nash explained that he didn’t want to put his best players on the court six days after the opening of training camp.

“The game came so quickly, preseason, and we have three more,” Nash said. “We’ll hold back some guys, and other guys will get more opportunity.”

Among the players who will see more court time is fourth-year guard Jevon Carter, who was acquired from the Suns in an offseason deal. Carter averaged just 12 minutes per game with Phoenix last season and is aiming for a spot in Brooklyn’s rotation.

“I’m just expecting to go out there and just do my job, honestly. Whatever comes with it comes with it,” Carter said. “They told me just keep doing what I’m doing. They just kept telling me that they like what I’m doing, and just go out there, stay aggressive and lead the group.”

There’s more from Brooklyn:

  • Sunday will mark the first game action for LaMarcus Aldridge since he received medical clearance to start playing again, Lewis adds. “I think LaMarcus will play,” Nash said. “Nobody’s going to play a ton, so we’ll spread it around pretty evenly. We don’t want anyone doing too much and exposing themselves this early. Hopefully he plays enough that he feels good about it, and at the same time isn’t playing too much.”
  • The Nets will have a quick reunion with DeAndre Jordan, who spent the past two seasons in Brooklyn before being traded last month, notes Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register. Jordan says he still has a lot of friends on the team, but he’s concentrating now on helping the Lakers. “I got a lot of love for those guys over there,” he said. “So I’m not thinking about ‘Oh, I should’ve stayed.’ I’m not thinking about that. I’m thinking about where I’m at now and my focus is here with this group of guys.”
  • Free agent addition Paul Millsap is willing to accept a reduced role to help the Nets win a title, per Tom Dowd of NBA.com. The 36-year-old was fully aware of what would be expected when he chose to sign with Brooklyn. “This team is not going to need me to get out there and go to work on the block and score 15, 20 points,” he said. “I understand that. Knowing my role on this team is going to be big and crucial and everybody knowing their role is going to be big and crucial to winning.”

Atlantic Notes: Brown, Simmons, Ntilikina

Veteran journeyman wing Anthony Brown is set to work out for the Celtics this week, per Ennio Terrasi Borghesan of Sportando.

Drafted with the No. 34 selection out of Stanford in 2015 by the Lakers, Brown played sparingly for the Lakers and their NBA G League affiliate, then called the Los Angeles D-Fenders (now the South Bay Lakers). In the NBA, he later played for the Pelicans, Magic, and Timberwolves, in addition to suiting up for the NBAGL affiliates for the latter two teams.

Brown played just 41 games across three NBA seasons. He holds averages of 3.9 PPG and 2.5 RPG in 18.6 MPG. Since his last league stint during the 2017/18 NBA season, Brown has played for a variety of international clubs in Serbia, France, and Spain.

The Celtics currently have 14 players inked to guaranteed deals on their 2021/22 roster, and just one of their two-way player slots filled.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Sixers All-Star Ben Simmons has lost a lot of his trade value following a disappointing postseason performance. In a new mailbag column, Derek Bodner of The Athletic explains that he would be open to Philadelphia team president Daryl Morey targeting draft picks as the primary return in a Simmons deal. By making this kind of move, Morey and his front office team could potentially deal for a star player beyond the caliber of the personnel teams may be making available for Simmons at present.
  • Former Knicks point guard Frank Ntilikina, the eighth draft pick in 2017, never lived up to his promise while with New York. Moke Hamilton of Basketball News examines the forces at fault for the current free agent’s underwhelming first four seasons. Then-team president Phil Jackson generally shoulders much of the blame for selecting Ntilikina in the draft ahead of Donovan Mitchell, Bam Adebayo, and Malik Monk, all lottery-caliber players drafted after the 6’4″ guard who have already proven themselves to be NBA mainstays. “[Ntilikina] obviously had the physical gifts to be an impact player in the league, but there were two or three other guys that got support because they seemed much safer,” a Knicks source told Hamilton. Hamilton also opines that the team’s lack of stability in its coaches hurt Ntilikina’s development. In four seasons, the point guard played for four different head coaches. Hamilton speculates that, should Ntilikina want to remain in the NBA this season, the 23-year-old should be able to find a team willing to take a flyer on the defensive specialist.
  • In case you missed it, new Lakers center DeAndre Jordan‘s departure from the Nets apparently became inevitable after the team retained Blake Griffin this summer, in addition to signing Paul Millsap and LaMarcus Aldridge. Promising big man Nicolas Claxton also leaped ahead of Jordan in the center rotation during the 2020/21 season.

Eastern Notes: Celtics, LaVine, Herro, Moore, Jordan

The Celtics could target Bulls swingman Zach LaVine if Bradley Beal doesn’t become available on the trade market this season, Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe opines.

Beal, who has spent all nine of his seasons with the Wizards, is considered unavailable in trade discussions today. NBA teams recognize that this could change, however, especially with the 28-year-old entering the final season of his contract.

Boston is well-positioned to make a trade for the next disgruntled star, but Chicago made several upgrades around LaVine this offseason. Nevertheless, LaVine and the Bulls have yet to agree to an extension, making his situation one to monitor if the team underwhelms.

Here are some other notes from the Eastern Conference:

  • Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel examines how bulking up could be beneficial for Heat guard Tyler Herro. The third-year Kentucky product has prioritized getting stronger during the offseason, something that could certainly help him defensively. On the offensive end, Herro has averaged 14.3 points and 2.8 assists in 109 regular-season games to this point, playing 28.8 minutes per contest.
  • The Magic‘s deal with guard E’Twaun Moore is a one-year, fully guaranteed contract at the veteran’s minimum, Keith Smith of Spotrac tweets.
  • Brian Lewis of the New York Post examines how DeAndre Jordan‘s tenure with the Nets came to an end. The veteran center was traded from Brooklyn to Detroit, then reached a buyout agreement with the Pistons — which allowed him to sign with the Lakers as a free agent. The writing was on the wall for Jordan and Brooklyn, as the Nets had penciled in Blake Griffin at starting center, along with Paul Millsap, LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Claxton off the bench.

Central Notes: Rubio, Sumner, Bucks, Jordan

Ricky Rubio knows he must take a leadership and mentoring role with the Cavaliers, as Kelsey Russo of The Athletic notes. Rubio was acquired from the Timberwolves to provide stability to the Cavs’ backcourt.

“I know Cleveland has a young roster,” Rubio said of the Cavaliers. “I’m probably not a good collaboration on that because I’m already in my 30s. But I think there’s a lot of talent. But that doesn’t make a good team. What makes a good team is putting the pieces together and make it work. So we will see how everything works out. And as a veteran, it’s part of my job to really make that work.”

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Pacers guard Edmond Sumner is taking a positive approach in the aftermath of his devastating Achilles injury. Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files relays a social media post from Sumner which states in part, “Hit me at all at once like a train. Just adding to this crazy journey of mine.  … Victory comes through your adversity.”
  • The Bucks still have to figure out what they’ll do with the remaining spots on the roster, Eric Nehm of The Athletic writes. They also have to decide whether to carry 14 or a full 15-player roster. The other remaining mystery is which players will be first off the bench this coming season.
  • The Pistons’ dead money cap hits for DeAndre Jordan will be $7,875,533 in the upcoming season, instead of $9,881,598, and $7,827,907, instead of $9,821,842, in 2022/23, Keith Smith of Spotrac tweets. Jordan gave up $4MM in his buyout agreement after being traded from the Nets and signed with the Lakers after clearing waivers.

Pacific Notes: Jordan, CP3, Haliburton, Warriors

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.

DeAndre Jordan Signs With Lakers

DeAndre Jordan has signed with the Lakers, according to a team press release.

Jordan was traded to the Pistons by the Nets last week in a salary dump. He was then waived after agreeing to give up $4MM on the remaining two years of his contract, which had nearly $20MM left on it. He’ll gain another $2.6MM, the veteran’s minimum, by signing with the Lakers.

[RELATED: Pistons Will Not Use Stretch Provision On DeAndre Jordan]

Jordan was signed by Brooklyn with the endorsement of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving but fell out of the Nets’ rotation last season. A 13-year NBA veteran, Jordan appeared in 57 games (43 starts) for the Nets, where he averaged 7.5 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 1.6 APG and 1.1 BPG in 21.9 MPG.

With Marc Gasol‘s future in L.A. filled with uncertainty, Jordan and free agent pickup Dwight Howard will likely compete for minutes when Anthony Davis isn’t playing center.

Pistons Will Not Use Stretch Provision On DeAndre Jordan

The Pistons will not be using the stretch provision on DeAndre Jordan‘s contract, according to James Edwards III of the Athletic (via Twitter). In a follow-up tweet, Edwards says that Jordan was officially waived today.

Edwards notes that Jordan gave back $4MM of the $19.7MM that was left on his contract in his buyout agreement with Detroit. As a result, his base salary will by lowered by $2MM each season, resulting in cap hits of approximately $7.9MM per year.

The deadline to use the stretch provision on a player’s 2021/22 salary is September 11, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks, so the Pistons had the option of stretching Jordan’s remaining salary across five years instead of two, which would’ve resulted in annual cap hits of about $3.15MM, creating more short-term financial flexibility at the cost of long-term freedom. As Edwards observes, Detroit should still have plenty of cap space to utilize in both 2022 and 2023.

A fairly recent example of a team utilizing the stretch provision is the Lakers, who still have Luol Deng‘s $5MM on the books this season after waiving and stretching Deng in 2018 in order to create the necessary cap space to sign LeBron James. Coincidentally, Jordan is expected to sign with the Lakers after clearing waivers.

It will be interesting to see how general manager Troy Weaver plans to utilize the Pistons’ cap space in future seasons to build around the team’s intriguing core of 2021 No. 1 overall pick Cade Cunningham, Killian Hayes, Hamidou Diallo, Saddiq Bey, Jerami Grant, and Isaiah Stewart. With Blake Griffin‘s dead money coming off the books at the end of this season, the Pistons could operate under the cap next summer and could create significant cap space in the summer of 2023.

Eastern Notes: Jordan, Yurtseven, LaVine, Wizards’ Defense

The Nets offered a first-round pick to potential trade partners in order to shed DeAndre Jordan‘s contract but couldn’t find any takers, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post. They instead dipped into their stockpile of second-rounders, forwarding four of them as part of the trade with the Pistons. The Nets still have second-rounders in 2024, 2026 and 2028.

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Heat 7-footer Omer Yurtseven believes he can contribute in a number of ways, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald writes. “The biggest focus has been on being big inside, and I think that’s the presence that the Heat can use and I can provide,” Yurtseven said. “Being able to do that and guard the pick-and-roll, be the big presence inside and rebounding obviously has been a huge emphasis, as well. Also, with my talent and skill set, being able to stretch the floor, being able to post up and use my touch around the rim and also the midrange and step outside, as well.” Yurtseven averaged 22.4 PPG, 11.2 RPG and 2.4 BPG in five summer league games, which earned him a two-year contract.
  • Zach LaVine will have a lot more pressure on him than in any other previous season in his NBA career, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. The Bulls’ front office has built the team specifically to emphasize his strengths and now LaVine has to produce with the team’s expectations ramped up. LaVine, who is an unrestricted free agent after the season, can prove he deserves to be compensated like a max player if he delivers.
  • The Wizards are capable of being an above-average defensive team this coming season due to the roster changes they made, according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. They have upgraded their defense at the point and on the wings with the additions of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle KuzmaAaron Holiday and Spencer Dinwiddie but could still face some challenges in the paint.

Nets Trade Jordan, Draft Picks To Pistons For Okafor, Doumbouya

SEPTEMBER 4: The trade is official, according to a Brooklyn press release.

“We appreciate everything DeAndre has contributed to our organization over the past two seasons both on and off the court and wish him and his family the best moving forward,” Nets GM Sean Marks said in a statement.


SEPTEMBER 3: The Nets and Pistons have reached an agreement on a trade, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link), who reports that Detroit will acquire center DeAndre Jordan, four second-round picks, and $5.78MM in cash. Brooklyn will receive Jahlil Okafor and Sekou Doumbouya in return.

The draft picks headed to Detroit in the deal are the Nets’ own 2022 and 2027 second-round picks, plus the Wizards’ or Grizzlies’ 2024 second-rounder (whichever is more favorable) and the Warriors’ or Wizards’ 2025 second-rounder (whichever is more favorable), sources tell ESPN (Twitter link).

According to Wojnarowski, the plan is for the Pistons to work out a buyout agreement with Jordan, who has about $20MM left on his contract over the next two years.

The Nets had been trying for much of the offseason to find a taker for Jordan, a three-time All-NBA center who joined the team as a free agent in 2019 along with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving but fell out of the rotation in 2020/21. A report earlier this week indicated Jordan and the Nets were exploring a possible buyout — now it’ll be up to the Pistons to complete those talks.

Although the Nets had to give up four second-round picks to dump Jordan’s salary, the financial benefits will be significant. Jordan is making more than Okafor and Doumbouya combined this year and has multiple years left on his contract, while Okafor and Doumbouya are on expiring deals. Wojnarowski estimates (via Twitter) that the club will save $47MM in the deal after accounting for salaries and projected tax penalties.

That money could be reinvested in buying back second-round picks down the road. However, as Woj points out, Brooklyn is confident in its ability to acquire minimum-salary talent to complement its Durant/Irving/James Harden core, as the team did this week by reaching an agreement with Paul Millsap.

The Nets will also acquire a pair of players in the deal, though it’s unclear if either Okafor or Doumbouya is in their plans. The team will have 14 players on guaranteed contracts and one (DeAndre’ Bembry) on a partial guarantee even before accounting for the incoming Pistons. Perhaps the Nets will give Doumbouya – 2019’s No. 15 pick – a shot, but I’d be surprised if they retain Okafor.

As ESPN’s Bobby Marks notes (via Twitter), Brooklyn will create a $6.27MM trade exception in the swap, which is the difference between Jordan’s $9.88MM salary and Doumbouya’s $3.61MM figure. Okafor can be acquired using the minimum salary exception, so the Nets don’t need to match his salary.

As for the Pistons, they’ll take on some dead money as a result of this transaction, but the pros outweigh the cons. Detroit had traded away its own second-round picks from 2022 through 2026 in previous deals, so this gives general manager Troy Weaver a chance to restock his cache of draft assets. Additionally, the $5.78MM in cash the Pistons are getting in the deal – which is the max the Nets could offer – will help cover some of Jordan’s salary.

On top of that, the Pistons had been facing a roster crunch, with 16 players on guaranteed contracts. A two-for-one trade, followed by a Jordan buyout, will reduce that number to 14, giving Detroit an open roster spot to work with. The club could give a camp invitee such as Jamorko Pickett the opportunity to earn that spot this fall or could simply carry 14 players to start the regular season.

Once Jordan is bought out, he’ll be officially placed on waivers and will become an unrestricted free agent two days later. Multiple recent reports have suggested the Lakers are a suitor to keep an eye on, and Wojnarowski reiterates that point today (via Twitter), calling Los Angeles a “serious contender” to sign the veteran center.