DeAndre Jordan

Vince Carter: Nets’ Third Star Can Be DeAndre Jordan

The Nets will enter the 2020/21 season with increased expectations as Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are expected to return healthy, led by new head coach Steve Nash.

There has been plenty of speculation about the possibility of the Nets bolstering their already formidable (when healthy) lineup with another All-Star caliber player. After a strong showing in the Orlando campus, Caris LeVert made his case to take on the role of consistent third scoring option.

Former Nets All-Star Vince Carter sees things differently, suggesting that Brooklyn’s other high-profile free agent signing from the summer of 2019 can be that third impact player, Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News writes.

“You’ve gotta be careful. It’s a slippery slope when you’re putting guys together,” Carter said. “I feel like you could have a third star in somebody like DeAndre Jordan who can shine. He’s not somebody who’s gonna get a lot of touches, but what does he do? He puts a lot of pressure on the defense going to the rim.”

Brooklyn inked Jordan to a four-year, $40MM pact, but the former All-Star only started six games as promising youngster Jarrett Allen got the nod. Jordan has historically been a rebounding machine and an intimidating presence under the rim as a defender. However, at 32 years old, it’s fair to wonder if he can play up to the same level as his days with the Clippers.

Carter feels that Jordan’s mere presence opens up looks for the Nets’ best non-Durant options and that not having a third ball-dominant scorer would work better for Brooklyn.

“I just feel like you have to find the right pieces if you’re gonna go get a third scorer,” Carter said. “If you’re gonna go get three guys who really demand the ball, that gets tough after a while. One if not two guys of your big three tend to become unhappy sometimes. If they buy into that, then it’s a possibility. If they don’t, then a big three doesn’t work.

“I feel like a guy like DeAndre Jordan, somebody like that putting pressure on the rim,” Carter continued. “It’s not enough basketballs out there if you put three big names out there on the floor, so it takes a lot to think about.”

Nets Will Consult Numerous Players in Coaching Search

The Nets plan to get input from several players as they look for their next head coach, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post. As expected, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving will be consulted during the process, but sources tell Lewis that general manager Sean Marks plans to talk with DeAndre Jordan, Spencer Dinwiddie and possibly Caris LeVert as well.

“Yeah, I would say it would totally be not incredibly smart of us if we did not involve some of these key players in this decision. And that not only goes for Kevin,” Marks said. “Kevin, Kyrie; we’re going to pick their brains on what they’re looking for in a leader, what they want in a coach, what they need. The guys have been brutally honest so far.”

The additions of Durant and Irving in free agency last summer make the Brooklyn job one of the most attractive in the league. Kenny Atkinson appeared to be the coach of the future, but his surprising dismissal in March created an opening amid rumors that the two stars weren’t enamored with Atkinson’s style of play.

Jacque Vaughn was successful in an interim role, leading the Nets to two wins before the hiatus, followed by a 5-3 record in reseeding games even though half the roster wasn’t available. Vaughn has been promised consideration as the team looks for a permanent coach, and he has the advantage of working with Marks on three separate occasions in the past decade. However, he may be overshadowed by some bigger names on the market.

Vaughn and Clippers assistant Tyronn Lue are viewed as the early favorites for the job, Lewis notes, as Irving has interest in reuniting with his former coach in Cleveland. Joe Harris was also a Cavalier under Lue and called him “an excellent coach.”

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who served as a mentor to Marks in San Antonio, has been mentioned as a possibility, along with Jason Kidd, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson and Ime Udoka. Durant and his representatives reportedly have an interest in Jackson, Lewis adds.

DeAndre Jordan Tests Positive For Coronavirus, Won’t Go To Orlando

Nets center DeAndre Jordan has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not join the team for the league’s restart in Orlando, he tweeted on Monday night.

Jordan said he learned of the positive test on Sunday evening and it was confirmed on Monday.

The news on Jordan is another huge blow for the Nets. High-scoring guard Spencer Dinwiddie revealed on Monday he had tested positive with symptoms and is unsure whether he’ll participate in the restart.

Brooklyn’s roster has been decimated by injuries, defections, and positive coronavirus tests. Superstars Kevin Durant (Achilles) and Kyrie Irving (shoulder) won’t participate. Nicolas Claxton is also injured, while Wilson Chandler has decided to sit out for family reasons.

Teams can sign substitute players to replace those who voluntarily opt out or contract the coronavirus, so Chandler and Jordan are eligible to be replaced, but injured players like Durant, Irving, and Claxton aren’t. Brooklyn is signing Justin Anderson to replace Chandler; the team will also add a substitute player in place of Jordan, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Durant was one of four Nets players to test positive for COVID-19 shortly after the suspension of play in March.

After signing a multi-year contract with the Nets last offseason, Jordan averaged 8.3 PPG and 10.0 RPG in 56 games while splitting time at center with Jarrett Allen. Under new head coach Jacque Vaughn, Jordan took Allen’s spot in the starting lineup right before the season was suspended in March.

Nets Notes: COVID-19, Coach, Kyrie, KD, More

Speaking today on a conference call with reporters, Nets general manager Sean Marks said that all the team’s players are now symptom-free of COVID-19, including the four that tested positive for the coronavirus last month, tweets ESPN’s Malika Andrews. The club’s entire traveling party has now completed its 14-day self-isolation period, but continues to practice social distancing.

Marks addressed a handful of other topics on that call, including the team’s search for a permanent head coach. According to Brooklyn’s GM, the club isn’t currently reaching out to potential candidates, since it “would completely not be fair to our group” (Twitter link via Andrews).

When asked if he’ll consult Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant on the head coaching decision, Marks said the Nets have always collaborated with players, but the decision will ultimately be made by the front office and ownership (Twitter link via Brian Lewis of The New York Post).

Finally, speaking of Irving and Durant, Marks was also asked about the possibility of those injured stars returning to action if the 2019/20 season resumes this summer. According to Andrews (Twitter link), the GM replied that it wouldn’t be fair to set a specific timeline for either player’s return. Marks also cautioned that social-distancing practices and the closure of training facilities may slow the rehab process for injured players, further clouding the recovery timetables for Kyrie and KD.

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • Brian Lewis of The New York Post takes a look at DeAndre Jordan‘s role with the Nets this season and going forward, noting that the veteran center was immediately elevated to the starting lineup following Kenny Atkinson‘s departure.
  • Atkinson’s exit is among the topics Lewis explores in a New York Post mailbag — he also answers questions related to the likelihood of a Jarrett Allen trade and how Nets players are staying in shape while self-isolating.
  • In yet another story for The New York Post, Lewis shares some details on how Nets and Barclays Center are still being paid during the NBA’s stoppage. One source tells Lewis that the pay checks cut for event staffers may end up totaling approximately $6MM.
  • In case you missed it, Durant is one of 16 NBA players participating in a players-only NBA 2K20 tournament starting on Friday.

Nets Notes: Atkinson, Durant, Irving, Jordan

In an in-depth story for The Athletic, Shams Charania and Alex Schiffer take a closer look at Kenny Atkinson‘s final days in Brooklyn, detailing how the Nets ultimately came to the decision to part ways with their head coach.

As Charania and Schiffer explain, a team meeting following last Wednesday’s blowout home loss to Memphis was an inciting event. During that “spirited” session, people in the room aired their grievances, with Spencer Dinwiddie and DeAndre Jordan among the players who were called out. Perhaps most importantly, Kevin Durant suggested that the Nets must improve certain habits and that they weren’t building the sort of culture traits that a legit title contender has.

According to The Athletic’s report, no directive from Kyrie Irving or Durant was ever given to replace Atkinson, but the Nets’ two new stars “never connected” with the incumbent head coach and there was a growing belief they weren’t interested in playing for him next season. A handful of other players were also believed to have started “disconnecting” with Atkinson, per Charania and Schiffer.

In Wednesday’s meeting, players didn’t hold back on critiquing Atkinson’s coaching style, expressing their “growing displeasure” with his communication tactics. Charania and Schiffer write that the aftermath of that meeting could have gone one of two ways. Atkinson could have become more motivated to fix those issues players had — however, sources tell The Athletic that the head coach instead came out of that session “dejected” and not wanting to let anyone “dictate his job.” He began to talk about leaving the job on his own terms, if necessary.

Atkinson and GM Sean Marks ultimately made the final decision to part ways late on Friday night and into Saturday morning, according to The Athletic.

Here’s more on the Nets and their coaching change:

  • Nets center DeAndre Jordan took exception to the idea of blaming Durant and Irving for Atkinson’s departure, calling those reports “bullsh–,” as Peter Botte of The New York Post writes. “I’m close with Kyrie, but Wilson (Chandler) is a new player, Garrett Temple’s a new player. We’re all new players,” Jordan said. “So if you’re going to say new players, put it on all eight of the new players.” Jordan added that he was “shocked” by the news, adding that Atkinson “did a great job with us.”
  • For what it’s worth, the Athletic report from Charania and Schiffer suggested that Jordan was among the players to express frustration to Atkinson last week, with sources indicating there had been a “season-long tension” relating to the coach’s decision not to start Jordan over Jarrett Allen. In Brooklyn’s first game under Jacque Vaughn, Jordan entered the starting lineup, signaling the “beginning of the end of the old Nets,” writes Kristian Winfield of The New York Daily News.
  • Marc Berman of The New York Post explores whether Mark Jackson – who is expected to be a candidate for the Knicks‘ head coaching job this spring – may also be on the Nets’ list of targets, given Rich Kleiman‘s fondness for the former Warriors head coach.
  • As for Atkinson’s next move, one source with knowledge of the situation who spoke to Charania and Schiffer is confident that the former Brooklyn head coach won’t be out of work for long if he doesn’t want to be. “Kenny will be back coaching soon,” the source said. “He works too hard. Works his ass off. He will probably take the time away and replay the scenarios and relationships that went wrong — and come back stronger for the job he wants.”

Rockets Tried To Trade For DeAndre Jordan

The Rockets attempted to add the Nets to their four-team trade this week, hoping to acquire center DeAndre Jordan, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reveals in an Instagram video.

Brooklyn turned down the offer and elected to hold onto the veteran center, but Wojnarowski’s report indicates two things about the Rockets. The team may not have intended to fully commit to the small-ball approach it has used since trading away Clint Capela, and owner Tilman Fertitta was apparently willing to back up his statement that moves won’t be determined by the luxury tax.

Jordan makes $9.88MM this year and is signed for the next three seasons at a total cost of about $30MM. He’s coming off the bench for the Nets and averaging 7.9 points and 9.6 rebounds per night.

Because of how the trade was structured, the Rockets had the flexibility to add up to $12MM in salary before it was finalized. Fertitta gave general manager Daryl Morey the freedom to expand the deal, Wojnarowski adds, even though it would have cemented Houston as a taxpaying team.

Woj doesn’t say what the Rockets were offering the Nets in terms of players and draft picks.

Atlantic Notes: Jordan, Celtics, Sixers, Kobe

Nets center DeAndre Jordan is set to make his return to the court on Wednesday against Detroit, Malika Andrews of ESPN.com tweets. Jordan has been out since January 20 with a dislocated finger.

Here’s more from out of the Atlantic Division:

  • The Celtics could benefit from having one more experienced role player, Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports contends. Boston’s need for an eighth or ninth man could be exposed come playoff time.
  • Javonte Green‘s play has made Brad Stevens‘ rotation decisions more difficult, Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald writes. “I’m just here to do what the coach asks. Even if I’m not playing I’m going to do my best to pick up my teammates from the bench. He put me in there to just do my job,” said Green.
  • The Sixers paid tribute to Kobe Bryant in multiple ways on Tuesday, as I wrote for Heavy.com. Joel Embiid wore No. 24 in the game against the Warriors, scoring 24 points. The big man hit a fadeaway and yelled “KOBE” during the contest.

Nets’ DeAndre Jordan To Be Reevaluated In One Week

Nets‘ center DeAndre Jordan suffered a dislocated middle finger earlier this week but the injury will not require surgery, tweets ESPN’s Malika Andrews. Instead, the veteran big man will be re-evaluated next week.

Without Jordan in its lineup, Brooklyn will need to rely heavily on the young tandem of Jarrett Allen and Nicolas Claxton. The Nets will face the Bucks, Sixers and Lakers in their next three contests, so the absence of Jordan will sting.

In the first year of a four-year, $40MM deal he signed with Brooklyn, the veteran has been a stabilizing influence. Primarily a backup for the Nets, Jordan has served as a mentor while averaging 8.0 PPG and 9.7 RPG in 21 minutes per contest.

Atlantic Notes: Gasol, Ibaka, Jordan, Nets, Sixers

After getting two injured players – Pascal Siakam and Norman Powell – back on Sunday, the Raptors will get more reinforcements on Wednesday, according to Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca, who tweets that Marc Gasol is set to return to the team. The big man has been sidelined since December 18 due to a hamstring injury.

With Gasol healthy again, the Raptors will have a decision to make. Gasol was the team’s starting center before going on the injured list, but Serge Ibaka has been playing some of his best basketball in years during Gasol’s absence, averaging 18.1 PPG and 10.3 RPG with a .541 FG% and a .441 3PT% in 12 games as a starter.

According to Raptors lead assistant coach Adrian Griffin, head coach Nick Nurse will make the decision on who will start at center (Twitter link via Ryan Wolstat of The Toronto Sun). Nurse likes to experiment with his lineups and may try different combinations when Gasol returns, but I’d be surprised if the former Defensive Player of the Year doesn’t reclaim his starting spot, either right away or down the road.

Gasol and Ibaka are on expiring contracts, so both veteran Raptors centers will be motivated to finish the season strong.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • In an interesting piece for ESPN.com, Malika Andrews of ESPN.com examines how DeAndre Jordan‘s gregarious personality and positive locker-room presence factored into the Nets‘ decision to invest $40MM in him this past summer. “We knew we were wading through some uncharted waters where we’ve never been before — where expectations are a little bit bigger,” GM Sean Marks said. “To have a guy like DJ, who can hopefully keep the mood light behind the scenes is — it’s really important.”
  • Within Andrews’ article, Marks acknowledged that the Nets expect to become a taxpaying team next season. The GM suggested that Brooklyn’s investment in Jordan was related to the fact that 2019 was one of the last opportunities the club will have for a while to use cap room. “We’re going to be a tax team,” Marks said. “We are married to that. There’s a limited amount of times and ways you can continue to add to your team. You better do it now. You’re gearing up for a run.”
  • Derek Bodner and Rich Hofmann of The Athletic list 19 potential trade targets for the Sixers at the deadline, including some backup fours, catch-and-shoot players, and combo guards. Meanwhile, David Aldridge of The Athletic makes the case for why acquiring another point guard should be the 76ers’ top priority in trade talks.

Jared Dudley Talks Kuzma, Griffin, Knicks, More

Jared Dudley isn’t one of the NBA’s best players, but he’s one of the league’s best interview subjects, according to Bill Oram of The Athletic, who notes that Dudley is willing to talk to virtually any reporter about virtually any subject.

In his own Q&A with Dudley, Oram asked the Lakers‘ forward about his music tastes, his favorite current teammate, his least favorite NBA cities, how he spends his off days, his biggest fears, and much more.

If you have an Athletic subscription, the conversation is definitely worth checking out in full. But here are a few of Dudley’s more noteworthy comments:

On Kyle Kuzma‘s mini-controversy related to his trainer’s anti-LeBron James comments:

“Not only have I talked to him (about it), other players have talked to him. So when it comes to Kuz, this has been good for him, his maturity and having to deal with it. When I heard he was meeting with the media (on Saturday), that’s something I would do. I would have gone to social media right then and there. ‘He don’t speak for me. Yes I’ve trained with him, but this is where I view it at.'”

On his least favorite current or former teammate:

“I don’t get along with Blake Griffin now. When I was with him I didn’t have a bad relationship with him. That team (the 2013/14 Clippers) was the most toxic team. It was weird because it was a bipolar type team. We were somewhat cool off the floor; we weren’t cool on the floor.

“I just don’t like his personality and attitude. I think he’s a great basketball player and I think you can differentiate the two. It’s easy to be the greatest teammate when you’re winning. How about when you’re losing? How about when you’re down 20? And that’s the biggest thing with that team. It was the biggest front-running team. You’re up 20, everything’s good, throwing lobs. Down 20, people want to fight, bickering. I don’t want to say my least favorite … That’s a teammate right now that I don’t talk (to), don’t get along (with), words aren’t exchanged on the court, yada yada.”

On how he has weighed taking the most lucrative contract offer vs. playing for a contender:

“I never have taken a discount because, for one, I’m never going to get that back. I never believed on that. That being said, I signed a one-year deal (with the Lakers). I might have potentially been able to get a two-year deal somewhere else, but I wanted to come to the Lakers because this not only benefits me this year to win a championship but long-term. Media, dealing with you guys. If I try to become a head coach or a GM, I’ve now played with LeBron, I’ve been on a championship-caliber team. It helps my whole resume going forward.”

On the first change he’d make for the Knicks if he were in position to do so:

“I’d be getting rid of that practice facility in Westchester. Nobody wants to live there, no one wants to commute there. You have to get as close to the city as possible. That’s why Brooklyn got Kevin Durant. I told DeAndre Jordan who told Kevin Durant: The (Nets’) practice facility is two minutes from (Barclays Center). They didn’t even know that. I lived in the city. It took me 12 minutes to get to the practice facility. That’s a huge bonus. People bash the Knicks, but I definitely wouldn’t bash the Knicks. I would have gone there if the Lakers wouldn’t have offered me, or Brooklyn. If it was my third or fourth option, sure.”