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Nets announce signing of DeAndre Jordan  

Nets General Manager Sean Marks and Head Coach

Nets General Manager Sean Marks and Head Coach Kenny Atkinson talk about the aftermath of the playoffs with the 76ers at the Training Center in Sunet Park Brooklyn. Credit: Todd Maisel

LAS  VEGAS — On the first day of what promises to be an exciting new era in Nets history, general manager Sean Marks busied himself working on the mundane details of his trades and free-agent signings as they gradually navigated their way through the NBA’s bureaucratic maze.

Although it has been widely reported that the Nets have reached agreements with free agents Kyrie Irving and have agreed on a trade with the Warriors that will bring Kevin Durant and a first-round pick in exchange for D’Angelo Russell, neither of those deals had been announced by late Saturday night.

Just before midnight ET on Saturday, the Nets announced the free-agent signing of center DeAndre Jordan, who is expected to receive a four-year deal worth $40 million. Jordan is close with Durant and Irving, and both reportedly took some of their maximum contract money in the form of bonuses to free up room to sign Jordan.

“We are thrilled to welcome DeAndre and his family to Brooklyn,” Marks said in a statement. “As a veteran center with all-NBA and all-defensive team honors on his resume, DeAndre will provide us with the type of defensive mindset, toughness and leadership that are needed to compete at the highest levels of the NBA.”

The 11-year veteran started 69 games last season with the Mavericks and Knicks, averaging 11.0 points, 13.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.1 blocks in 29.7 minutes per game.

Before the Jordan announcement, the Nets reportedly rescinded their qualifying offer to Theo Pinson and renounced his free-agent rights to clear salary-cap space needed to make the major deals for Durant, Irving and Jordan.

Earlier in the day, the Nets announced the trade they made during the NBA Finals that signaled their determination to clear salary-cap space for major moves, sending Allen Crabbe and their 2019 first-round pick and protected 2020 first-round pick to the Hawks for Taurean Prince and a 2021 second-round pick.

DeMarre Carroll, an unrestricted free agent who is signing a three-year deal with the Spurs worth $21 million, was packaged by the Nets in a three-team trade that gives them Spurs prospect Nemanja Dangubic, a 6-9 Serbian who spent last season in Germany, and Wizards prospect Aaron White, a 6-9 forward from Iowa who played in Lithuania last season. The Nets also are waiting to announce free-agent deals with Garrett Temple and Wilson Chandler.

The Nets’ Summer League team was off Saturday, but Jarrett Allen and Rodions Kurucs spoke recently of the building excitement as rumors near reality.

“With big names that might come, the eyes are all on us,” Allen said. “Already the eyes are on us because everybody thinks they’re coming . . . I foresee a lot of growth under them. I see the young guys looking up to them and seeing how hard the older players work. That’s going to rub off on us.”

Kurucs previously gushed over his excitement about learning from Durant, whom he described as his favorite player, and it’s clear from his aggressive play in Friday’s summer opener that he’s raring to go. “They will be inspiring us, and they will push us 100 percent,” he said. “They want the best from the team, so they want the best from the rookies, too. It’s going to be a great push for us and great energy for us.”

According to BetOnline.com, the Nets are listed at 22/1 odds to win the NBA title. That puts them 11th overall behind the Clippers, who are 11/4 favorites after landing Kawhi Leonard and reaching a deal to trade for Paul George, and the Nets rank fifth in the Eastern Conference.

The Nets went 42-40 last season and were the surprise sixth seed in the playoffs. More will be expected now, even with Durant sidelined. Most likely, they will be projected for 45 to 50 wins.

“Right, it’s going to be different, but I don’t think it’s going to be too different,” Allen said. “I think we always thought we had the ability to go out and win every game. As long as we keep that mentality and go out and play our hardest, we’ll be fine.”

Spencer Dinwiddie said one of his selling points in discussions with Irving revolved around the Nets’ talented young core that includes Caris LeVert, Joe Harris, Kurucs and Allen, whom Dinwiddie projected as a future All-Star. But Allen knows there’s a chance he will surrender considerable playing time and possibly even his starting job to Jordan.

Asked if starting matters to him, Allen hesitated, saying, “A little bit. Obviously, everybody wants to start. But in this case, it doesn’t matter to me.”

Thinking it over for a second, he smiled and added, “No, I will say yeah, I want to start.”

New York Sports