When the Denver Nuggets signed DeAndre Jordan at the beginning of free agency this past summer, a lot of fans were confused and even raised an eyebrow at the signing.
People were not the happiest that the Nuggets decided to sign Jordan to be the sole backup to Nikola Jokic. Personally, I was one of the people that was frustrated by the signing because Jordan was coming off a poor campaign with the Lakers and 76ers.
Over the past few seasons, people could easily tell that Jordan was not the same man that he was when he was playing for the “Lob City” Clippers. That Jordan was a great rebounder, defender, and interior threat that could impact the game the moment he stepped on the court.
Since those days, he has been an NBA journeyman that is now playing on his sixth team since the 2017-18 season. Despite starting over Mitchell Robinson with the Knicks and Jarrett Allen with the Nets, it’s become clear that he’s better served coming off the bench.
DeAndre Jordan is thriving as a role player in Denver
Once he was placed in that backup role, he was far from being a productive big man and began to lose minutes on the teams that he was playing for. This made Jordan one of the most forgettable free agents on the market.
However, the Denver Nuggets saw something in him and gave him a $2.9 million dollar contract as a result. Since then, he has proven that the signing was not as bad as people initially believed and is in fact providing a competitive team like Denver with a reliable and experienced big man to come off the bench.
So far this season, Jordan is averaging 5.8 points and 6.1 rebounds in 13 minutes per game. While he may not be putting up double-doubles on a nightly basis anymore, he is giving the team solid rebounding and easy points every time he steps on the court.
His best showing this season came in a 117-101 win against the Utah Jazz in which he put up 12 points and 13 rebounds in 21 minutes of action. This performance perfectly illustrated how productive he can be when Jokic misses time and the team shows confidence in the veteran center.
He may not be the same Jordan he was a few seasons ago, but he can provide solid minutes off the bench for a contender and help the team win games while their star player is off the court. Hopefully, this is not the only year we see Jordan in a Denver Nuggets uniform.