The Brooklyn Nets will spend a good chunk of the offseason figuring out if they can improve at the center position, and one of the main reasons that they are searching for improvements there is the lackluster play of DeAndre Jordan, who arrived in Brooklyn on a four-year pact as a package deal with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
Jordan has averaged 7.9 points and 8.7 rebounds per game with the Nets over the last two years, but he hasn’t been a Nets fan favorite.
His lack of interior defense hasn’t won him tons of praise, and he was rooted to the bench in the postseason behind the likes of Blake Griffin.
One trade target that the Nets could consider adding in order to rectify this situation is Steven Adams.
The New Zealand center was recently traded, along with Eric Bledsoe, from the New Orleans Pelicans to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Jonas Valanciunas. Three first-round draft picks also changed hands in this deal.
In case Memphis isn’t sold on Adams, who will make $17 million next year, as a running mate for Ja Morant, they could send him elsewhere for more draft assets.
By attaching a first-round pick and a rotation player like Landry Shamet, the Nets might be able to acquire Adams and find someone to take Jordan’s contract off of their hands.
This Brooklyn Nets trade sends DeAndre Jordan to the Grizzlies.
This trade can become official on August 14, as the 19-day moratorium on trading players who were already moved once would have expired. Adams will then be free to join the Nets. Shamet also has a team option that would need to be picked up to make this deal happen.
Adams averaged 7.6 points and 8.9 rebounds per game last year, though he averaged double digits in scoring in each of the last four seasons. Adams is a bit more mobile and solid on the defensive end than Jordan is at this stage in his career.
The Athletic is also reporting that Adams has placed a huge emphasis on becoming more of a stretch big man this offseason. While he might not turn into prime Dirk Nowitzki next year, Adams being able to hit some 3-pointers could help him stay on the floor more than Jordan, who was rooted to the paint.
Adams might be one of the strongest players in the game, and he blends that with an array of post moves that mean he can score routinely without just dunking the ball. If his rebounding and defense are as good as what we saw in Oklahoma City, Brooklyn will have stumbled upon a new starting center.
From Memphis’ perspective, the combination of Jaren Jackson Jr., Brandon Clarke, and Xavier Tillman will likely be enough to carry that frontcourt for the next few years. Add in Shamet as a promising young gunner off of the bench, and you have a squad that can still compete for a playoff spot in the West.
Jordan can replace some of the muscle inside that the Grizzlies lost when they traded Valanciunas. He was brought to Brooklyn because of his kinship with Irving and Durant, but both of these guys are smart enough to see that the big man played at a level far below what his contract says he should be playing at during a pivotal first season all together.
This move helps the Nets improve at the center position in their quest to earn themselves a championship while simultaneously freeing themselves from the burden of Jordan’s contract and sending him to a place where he could get some playing time on a team with playoff aspirations.