It has been no secret that the Brooklyn Nets intend to sign both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. But can they also add DeAndre Jordan?
Brooklyn currently has just seven players on their roster with guaranteed contracts for next season. They have more flexibility than the majority of other teams in the NBA will have this offseason considering they can create the room, potentially, for two max deals.
The front office would still have some major hoops to jump through even to add these three former Team USA Olympic teammates.
If they renounce all of their free agency cap holds, which includes All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell, USA TODAY Sports Media Group’s Yossi Gozan projects they would have approximately $66.9 million in cap space. They can increase that figure to $68.7 million if they waive both Shabazz Napier and Treveon Graham, who are both on non-guaranteed deals.
Durant can sign a deal with the Nets worth $164 million over four years with a cap hit of $38.1 million next season. Irving can make $140 million over four years with a cap hit of $32.7 million in 2019-20.
Even without both Napier and Graham cut, they would be $383.9K short of the two max deals for both Durant and Irving. As such, their front office will likely pursue a trade (Spencer Dinwiddie, Joe Harris or Rodions Kurucs) this summer.
If either player would be willing to take less than the full max to keep the team intact, they could hold onto the players mentioned above. But if there is no compromise agreed upon, expect the Nets to make another cost-cutting move to accommodate both superstars.
Either way, their cap space will be fully used in such a scenario which means that they would no longer qualify for the mid-level exception or the bi-annual exception.
That means the rest of their roster would have to be filled with the mid-level exception (worth $4.7 million) and minimum deals. This is by far the most obvious route they would have to bring in Jordan, as league insider Marc Stein reported earlier today.
If he would be willing to accept such a deal, he would be an interesting addition for the Nets as they suddenly look to be top-end contenders in the Eastern Conference.
Jordan would provide strong minutes especially as a rim protector and as a rebounder alongside developing big man Jarrett Allen in their frontcourt rotation. He would also bring a veteran presence to a team that was not in a position to seriously make an impact in the playoffs.
But one of the main reasons the team may want Jordan is to try to help allure Durant to the Nets. The two are reportedly very close friends and the Golden State Warriors and New York Knicks had both been liked to the big man in the past – potentially for the same reason.
As such, it is feasible that the Nets could add Irving and Durant as well as Jordan this summer.
The rest of their roster would just be minimum deals, including second-round picks Nicolas Claxton (Georgia) and Jaylen Hands (UCLA) – the latter of which is more likely suited for a two-way contract.
Other free agents may be interested in signing on a discounted rate to live in the major metropolis and play alongside the emerging franchise, though with Durant out for the entire season with a ruptured Achilles, a one-year deal will be far less enticing.
USA Today Sports Media Group’s Yossi Gozlan contributed research to this report