DeAndre Jordan appears to have been knocked out of the Nets’ rotation by a pair of big men plucked off the buyout market. But sources have told The Post the Nets have no intention of adding the veteran center to that buyout market. “It’s never been discussed,” said a source.
The deadline for players waived or bought out to be eligible for the playoffs is 11:59 p.m. Friday. With Jordan having not played in any of the last four games — and having gone a dozen straight without appearing in the fourth quarter — there have been rumors that he and the Nets could look at a buyout. But multiple sources said there have been no conversations on the matter. “Nothing going on there,” another league told The Post.
The NBA is hearing the renewed calls from small-market executives to overhaul the buyout free-agency system, an insistence that the odds are unfairly weighted against them and that the salary-cap system has been contorted to satisfy the glamour markets’ supply of star talent for championship runs.
With Andre Drummond going to the Los Angeles Lakers and Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge to the Brooklyn Nets, there are front-office executives determined to push the commissioner’s office to reexamine the process of post-trade-deadline buyouts. If the clear-eyed reality is that these players are simply faded All-Stars released from the back end of expensive contracts, the visual of them flocking to superteam rosters in two marquee markets does cast a chilling impact on the league’s collective psyche.
Whatever the front-office objections, the NBA will counter with this data: Over the past 15 years, there are 39 buyout players who averaged two games and 10 minutes per NBA playoff round. Twenty were signed into top-15 markets — and 19 into the rest. Out of the 13 of 39 players joining teams that advanced to the conference championship, three were signed in top-15 markets. It has always been rare for buyout players to sway playoff destinies and championship chases, but the pursuit of them is forever intensive.
From threats of a player shutting down for the season — or performing infrequently — to an agent’s implied future retribution involving access to his free-agent clients or draft prospects, it’s often easier for teams to walk away from trade talks than to take on a player hell-bent on a buyout.