DeAndre Jordan remaining with Nets still far from certain

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Despite all of Brooklyn’s offensive firepower, rebounding is one of their few Achilles’ heels. The Nets know it’s an issue they’re going to have to solve.

It remains to be seen if DeAndre Jordan is going to be part of the solution.

First the veteran center was dropped from the rotation last season, and then shopped around this offseason. But with no takers, the 33-year-old and his bloated contract are still on the roster. For the moment.

The Nets could still give up an asset to trade Jordan, negotiate a buyout, or go into next season with him and give him a chance to fight for a spot in the rotation. With camp not starting until the end of September, the Nets are in no rush.

“I think with all of our guys there’s always discussions,” Nets general manager Sean 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.

Deandre Jordan
NBAE via Getty Images

“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.”

Despite not playing in 16 straight games to end the season, there’s no evidence that a buyout is imminent. Jordan has two years and $20 million left on his deal. While players often forgo 20-25 percent of their contract to move on, Jordan has a chance to win his first ring. The Nets also have a glaring need for rebounding, and a wealthy owner who is committed to paying the luxury tax.

In all likelihood, Jordan’s situation could depend on who else becomes available later, ie, whether Kevin Love or another big man becomes available.

Whatever the case, playing or not playing, staying or not staying, Jordan is a tricky topic.

Jordan is close friends with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, and former head coach Kenny Atkinson’s decision to start Jarrett Allen at center and not Jordan contributed to his departure.

But Jordan’s mobility has deteriorated, and he doesn’t fit the defensive scheme the Nets are running. He is so far banished from the rotation that it’s hard to picture a path back.

Leading into the draft, the Nets held talks around both Landry Shamet and Jordan. But in the end they moved Shamet (for a first-round pick) and Spencer Dinwiddie, and wouldn’t package either asset to move Jordan.

Marks used that pick from Shamet to draft UNC center Day’Ron Sharpe, who has performed well in the Las Vegas Summer League. The Nets also re-signed starting center Blake Griffin and have high hopes for Nic Claxton. Both are better fits for the Nets’ system, with Claxton able to switch 1-through-5 while Jordan is essentially limited to drop coverage.

“We need to get better on the defensive end. We need to get better rebounding. We have a lot of players that have that skill set,” Marks said. “It’s gonna come with a mindset. Day’Ron Sharpe for instance, does he get an opportunity to play and push our group in that regard potentially? Nic Claxton knows what at stake for him. DeAndre Jordan knows what’s at stake.”

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