DeAndre Jordan will not join the Brooklyn Nets at the Disney World NBA bubble, as he has tested positive for COVID-19. He caught the virus while in Brooklyn with the Nets, who are interestingly not scheduled to travel to Orlando until July 7. According to ESPN’s Woj, the Nets will sign a replacement player for Jordan, but more replacements may actually be needed.
Jordan is now the fifth Nets player to state that he will not make the trip to Orlando. Standout guard Spencer Dinwiddie announced that he also tested positive for coronavirus, but he has not 100% opted out as of yet. Veteran Wilson Chandler opted out to spend more time with family. Nicolas Claxton had surgery and will miss the rest of the season. Newcomers Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving will both sit out the asterisk NBA playoffs as well.
The Nets have basically written off the playoffs at this point, and they may have a point in doing so. They owe their first-round pick to the Minnesota Timberwolves but actually don’t if it lands in the top 14 picks. They’ve been focused on the 2021 season since the Fall of 2019, and obtaining a solid draft pick may actually improve their team for next year.
What is concerning, however, is what this break will do for Jordan. A veteran, who’s been around the league for quite some time, may be thinking that next season could be his best shot at a title with a fresh Durant and Irving. The other factor is his backup, Jarrett Allen, will most likely be the starter during the Nets playoff series and has the potential to elevate to the next level in Jordan’s absence.
At the end of the day, the only thing that matters to Brooklyn is next season. Durant is out. Irving is out. Dinwiddie and Jordan are most likely opting out. Why try to win in the playoffs and lose out on several draft spots? The Nets have little to gain outside of playing their young players for the sake of gaining experience. Obviously, we wish all their players well, but it’ll be interesting to see what the playoffs bring for one of the most tantalizing teams to come in future years.