Questions lingered when Deandre Jordan signed with the Brooklyn Nets, mainly the thought of how would he fit alongside Jarrett Allen who boasts a similar play style. If anything, Jordan can help mentor Jarrett Allen.
The NBA regular season is a little under a month away, and training camp is coming even sooner for teams such as the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets, capping off a successful rebuild with an offseason that saw them sign two of the biggest free agents on the market, have plenty of expectations and questions for the upcoming season.
Many of those are obvious: Will Kevin Durant push himself to return this season? In his absence, can Kyrie Irving fulfill his role as a leader? Where exactly should we expect Brooklyn to finish, record-wise this season?
All justified questions, but many of those revolve around just two of three significant free-agent signings for the Nets this summer. Don’t forget that Brooklyn also signed Deandre Jordan, a player whose skill set and position mirror closely to the younger Jarrett Allen already on the roster.
Count Jarrett Allen alongside the likes of Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris Lavert as the players that make up a promising young core for Brooklyn. For Allen in particular, he displayed a knack for defending the rim and showed promising defensive potential, but was clearly outplayed by Joel Embiid in the first round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs.
Allen was simply smaller and Embiid had more strength, which makes the signing of Deandre Jordan a logical choice. But will Jordan’s arrival, and presumably his transition to the starting lineup, stunt Allen’s development?
Some might assume, but it doesn’t have to. Deandre Jordan is 31 years old, and Jarrett Allen is 21. That’s a ten-year difference, and despite the Nets’ title window being fast-forwarded to the present, Allen is still the future. Brooklyn does not just want to win now, they want to stay competitive in the future as well.
That means properly developing the young players on the roster now, and that includes Jarrett Allen. In this way, Deandre Jordan won’t only be a fixture to contend for a title in the short-term, but he can be a mentor for Allen, showing him how to develop his game for the future. Imagine Jordan helping Allen get stronger in the weight room, or how to properly defend elite big men like Joel Embiid inside the paint.
“Where can his game go? I’d never limit him. But then also how can he develop some of our young guys. You mention Jarrett. For Jarrett to be battling him day in and day out and DJ sharing some of that knowledge he’s learned, that’s terrific when you can do that.”
Sounds like Jordan has a larger and more significant role to play than just for contending for a title in June. He’s an experienced vet and brings a good amount of knowledge and experience that can help this young Nets team. For Allen in particular, he should benefit from that knowledge, and it should make him a better fixture in Brooklyn not just now, but into the future.