DeAndre Jordan‘s time as a Brooklyn Net is done.
LaMarcus Aldridge’s is starting over.
Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Nets are dealing Jordan, cash and four second-round picks to the Detroit Pistons in a salary dump that will send a package including Jahlil Okafor to Brooklyn and save the Nets $47 million in salary and luxury tax. The Pistons are expected to buy Jordan out of the remaining two years and $20 million on his contract. Per Spotrac, the Nets had the second-highest luxury tax bill in the NBA behind the Golden State Warriors.
Meanwhile, they’re using their newfound financial flexibility to bring Aldridge back on a one-year, $2.6 million deal, according to Wojnarowski. Aldridge played five games with the Nets last season before retiring with a heart condition. The seven-time All-Star forward was recently medically cleared to return to basketball and will do so with Brooklyn.
How Aldridge got here after medical retirement
Aldridge initially joined the Nets after a midseason buyout with the San Antonio Spurs last season. He retired five games into his Nets stint after experiencing an irregular heartbeat during a game. He’s played his entire career with a heart condition called Wolff-Parkinson-White disease. But he’d never experienced anything like the night that prompted him to step away from the game.
“I had irregular rhythm the whole game, and I hadn’t experienced that before,” Aldridge told The Athletic’s Shams Charania in June. “Normally when I get on the court, my case study is that I would go into regular rhythm as I got my heart rate up. It had never been out of rhythm in a game, and then it was out of rhythm for the Lakers game and I was just off and couldn’t get no energy. I just couldn’t get myself going. I couldn’t figure out what was going on.”
Charania reported on Thursday that Aldridge, 36, “has been cleared to play again, passing all of the necessary tests.” Aldridge confirmed that he’s been medically cleared in a statement to ESPN.
“I retired in April based on what I believed was the wisest precautionary decision for my personal health at the time, but further testing and evaluation by several top physicians has convinced the doctors, myself and the Nets that I’m fully cleared and able to return to the rigors of the NBA,” Aldridge’s statement reads. “I loved my brief time with Brooklyn and am excited to rejoin the team in pursuit of a championship.”
Aldridge averaged 13.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.1 blocks while shooting 47.3% from the floor and 38.8% from 3-point distance in 23 games with the Spurs and Pistons last season.
Jordan to Lakers?
Per Friday’s report, the Pistons and Jordan are expected to negotiate a buyout, leaving the veteran center as a free agent with the Los Angeles Lakers as likely suitors.
The Nets signed Jordan to a four-year $40 million deal in 2019 as they rebuilt around Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Durant is a friend of Jordan’s. He and Irving reportedly took discounts to allow the Nets salary cap room to pay Jordan $10 million annually.
Jordan, 33, averaged 7.9 points, 8.7 rebounds and one block in 21.9 minutes per game in his two seasons in Brooklyn.
Source: Yahoo Sports