Potential Trade Packages and Landing Spots for LA Clippers Star DeAndre Jordan – Bleacher Report
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The Los Angeles Clippers are at an organizational crossroads this summer, with three-quarters of its core hitting free agency and new executive Jerry West signing on to refocus the franchise’s personnel vision.
No surprise, then, that Chris Haynes of ESPN.com reported L.A.’s lone key piece still under contract next season, DeAndre Jordan, might be available via trade.
Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times refuted the notion, but that doesn’t do anything to skirt the logic of exploring a Jordan deal this summer.
The Clips could lose Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and J.J. Redick in free agency. Jordan wouldn’t be a great fit on the rebuilding team that L.A. would become without that trio.
Even if there’s a chance the Clippers keep this group together, we know it can’t beat the Golden State Warriors. In fact, based on last season, we know it couldn’t even beat the Utah Jazz. With age and injury concerns intensifying, where’s the upside to running it back?
Plus, there’s no way the 79-year-old West signed on at this stage of his career to preside over the same stale group he knows can’t compete at a championship level. He’ll want to start tinkering, building something new.
We’ve got just one whispered report out there, so we’ll have to get creative coming up with other destinations and packages for Jordan. Turns out there are a handful of intriguing ones.
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The Deal: Tyson Chandler and 2017 No. 4 pick for DeAndre Jordan
We’d better start here, with Haynes’ report on the Clips discussing Jordan to the Phoenix Suns for Tyson Chandler and the No. 4 pick in Thursday’s draft.
The Suns are about as young as a team can get, with Devin Booker, Marquese Chriss and Dragan Bender composing a 20-and-under core. And while it’s hard to imagine Phoenix passing on another high lottery asset at this stage of its development, adding Jordan might be a good way to get its youth a much-needed taste of success.
Eric Bledsoe is still around, and at 27, he’s in his prime. Jordan, 28, is also as effective as ever. Those two might be good enough to push this inexperienced group into the playoff race. Whether that’s something the rebuilding Suns want yet is worth asking, and you’d think Phoenix would be particularly reticent to surrender a lottery pick for Jordan, who might just leave via a player option in 2018.
Still, Jordan’s contract is reasonable at $22.6 million next year. He’d be an upgrade over Chandler.
This is an easier call for the Clippers, who should be seeking draft assets and cap relief. Chandler is on the books for two more years at an average annual value of $13.3 million, and if L.A. is really going to start over, getting a pick that could turn into its next cornerstone makes this a worthwhile move.
Even if this isn’t a blow-it-up situation, Chandler would do many of the things Jordan did alongside a possibly re-signed Griffin and Paul—for a little more than half the price.
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The Deal: Paul George for DeAndre Jordan
Let’s get bold.
Paul George wants to play in Los Angeles, and while his intentions seem specific to the Lakers, maybe renting him and hoping he likes L.A.’s other team enough to stay is a gamble worth taking.
So how about Jordan for George…straight up?
If you’re the Indiana Pacers, you’re woefully short on leverage and have to consider everything. But “everything” for the Pacers hasn’t historically included full rebuilds.
Indy has missed the playoffs just six times since 1990, and though Larry Bird stepping aside might have caused some to wonder whether the mandate to stay competitive would shift, new general manager Kevin Pritchard began his tenure by telling reporters: “I don’t believe in tearing it down, because then you can tear down your culture. You can’t teach guys how to win. Some teams are out of the playoffs seven, eight, nine years. We don’t do that.”
That approach may mean a Lakers’ offer of two young players and late-first rounders for George lacks appeal. Jordan is established. An All-Star in his prime.
That’s more Indy’s speed.
The risk here (and it is immense) resides with the Clips. George could walk in a year…probably to the other locker room in Staples Center.
But what if the Clippers reach the conference finals with George, Paul and Griffin? The fit is certainly appealing, as L.A. could go small with a 4-5 combo of George and Griffin, which could unlock spacing for all involved.
Plus, George would give the Clippers the lockdown wing defender they’ve always craved—one who also happens to be a phenomenal offensive weapon.
Maybe the fit would be undeniably good. Maybe George would stay.
This is only an option if Griffin and Paul both hang around. Otherwise, the sting of sending away Jordan and then losing George for nothing is too great.