The Brooklyn Nets and Detroit Pistons have decided to swap some pieces prior to the start of the 2021-22 NBA season. The Nets are trading veteran center DeAndre Jordan, four future-second round picks and $5.78 million to Detroit in exchange for Jahlil Okafor and Sekou Doumbouya, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The Nets will send the Pistons their own 2022 and 2027 second-round picks, a 2024 second-round pick via the Washington Wizards and a 2025 second rounder via the Golden State Warriors. The move is largely a financial one for Brooklyn, which will save $47 million in salary and tax on the deal.
Jordan’s time with the Pistons will likely be brief, as the Pistons plan to work through a buyout on the two years remaining on Jordan’s current contract. If he’s ultimately bought out by the Pistons, Jordan, 33, would be free to sign elsewhere. He would likely be attractive to playoff teams looking for some added insurance at the center spot.
Once a buyout is reached, the Los Angeles Lakers will be a serious contender to sign Jordan, per Wojnarowski. The Lakers have gone all-in on veterans for the upcoming campaign, and Jordan would be the latest such addition. In L.A., he would join a frontline that already includes veteran centers Dwight Howard and Marc Gasol.
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With Blake Griffin, Paul Millsap, LaMarcus Aldridge and Nic Claxton all already on the roster, the Nets didn’t necessarily need Jordan, and getting off of his contract will provide the team with some added financial flexibility moving forward. Given how well-established they are in the frontcourt, it seems unlikely that either Okafor or Doumbouya will see major minutes during the 2021-22 season. Neither player represents a long-term commitment for Brooklyn, as Okafor will be an unrestricted free agent next offseason, and Doumbouya’s contract features a team option for the ’22-23 campaign.