Brooklyn Nets turn back to DeAndre Jordan with Aldridge retired

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 17: DeAndre Jordan #6 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 17: DeAndre Jordan #6 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

After 15 successful seasons including 19,951 points, 8,847 rebounds, and 2,034 assists, LaMarcus Aldridge is hanging it up.

The mid-range maestro announced his retirement Thursday morning, citing an irregular heart beat which he noticed earlier this week as the driving factor behind his decision.

Aldridge made a name for himself first with the Portland Trail Blazers, even becoming the team’s all-time rebounding leader, then playing with the San Antonio Spurs for five years, before concluding his NBA tenure on a five-game stint with the Nets.

His arrival made the Nets “unfair”; just a few days later, he was gone.

When Aldridge joined the Nets roughly two weeks ago, it came as a true gift of abundance, and one frankly unrequested by fans due to the team’s already-stacked roster. Once Aldridge threw on his Brooklyn threads, though, his value as a Net proved substantial, as he elevated the team on both ends of the floor.

Most notably, Aldridge’s ability to shoot the ball helped Brooklyn space the floor like never before, allowing them to blow out teams like the Hornets and Pelicans.

It was this factor which most likely led to Aldridge snatching DeAndre Jordan‘s rotation spot, who did not play once following Aldridge joining the team.

LaMarcus Aldridge shockingly announced his retirement from basketball this week, consequently tossing DeAndre Jordan back into the mix for the Brooklyn Nets.

Having noticed the advantages Aldridge offered, the Nets seemed determined to move away from lineups featuring Jordan, and the move paid off defensively as well. During this stretch with the DJ benched, the Nets surrendered 109 PPG to their opponents, compared to the 113.8 opponent PPG given up with Jordan playing.

Unfortunately, that all means nothing now with Aldridge gone, leaving the Nets with no choice but to feature Jordan once again as a rotation player. Luckily, during Brooklyn’s last two games which saw Jordan return to the lineup, the formerly acclaimed big man looked much more active, possibly benefitting from his time off.

Against the Timberwolves, Jordan scored 13 points, tying his second-highest scoring output this season en route to a blowout victory. Although the Nets struggled without Kevin Durant, James Harden, and company against the 76ers, Jordan looked solid during that affair as well.

Jordan grabbed a season high 14 rebounds even while battling against MVP candidate Joel Embiid. Jordan also caught an absurd half-court lob from Kyrie Irving to complete a reverse alley-oop during the second quarter, showing flashes of his days as a Clipper.

However, Jordan’s earlier shortcomings this year still make his return feel a bit shaky. Often showing little hustle, especially on the defensive end, Jordan frustrated fans as well as his own teammates from time to time. Following a defensive miscommunication during a contest against the Pistons earlier this season, Harden appeared visibly upset with Jordan, even shouting at him during a timeout.

Second year stud Nic Claxton (7.0 PPG and 4.7 RPG) and veteran Blake Griffin (10.8 PPG and 4.8 RPG) remain serviceable options as well, likely to field significant minutes themselves, but regardless, Jordan is back whether we like it or not.