It was a weird postseason for DeAndre Jordan, who might have played his last game for the Los Angeles Clippers. They’ll try to keep him with a maximum contract offer, but he’s going to get offers from the Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks and probably other teams, depending on developments.
Jordan averaged 13.1 points, 13.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game in the postseason. However, despite his impressive 71.6% from the field, the more glaring number and aspect of his game has been his poor free throw shooting. He shot just 42.7% from the line, going 11.2 times per game, often due to hack-a-Jordan tactics, costing his team almost 8 points per game in free throws.
And this might be the root cause for his desire to leave the team, despite the opportunity to hang around a talented group which isn’t that far away from having all the pieces to put themselves in a championship position. There’s some sort of rift between Chris Paul and Jordan regarding the amount of practice Jordan gives free throws. That kind of problem between the two might push Jordan into warmer arms, who won’t look at his weakness as such an issue.
Doc Rivers has said the Clippers will offer Jordan a max contract, but he shouldn’t take it for granted, meaning they’re not going to wait a very long time for him, or in other words: He’s replaceable, even if he really isn’t. Jordan has improved immensely as a rim protector and as someone who handles pick & roll situations, but some things don’t change. He’s very limited offensively with zero range, a hazard from the line and not always in complete focus on defense.
Of course, some teams are willing to ignore these issues considering how poorly built they are right now. The Boston Celtics made the playoffs this season, but they need a lot more to start climbing the ladder in the Eastern conference and league hierarchy. Adding Jordan will give them a rim presence they’ve been missing for the last couple of years and despite his lack of range, his athleticism makes him a good fit for teams that try to run or play a more methodic, half court style of offense.
The Dallas Mavericks might be in need of a center as well. Tyson Chandler got dominated by Dwight Howard and overall has slipped physically over the last couple of years, which makes sense. They’ll try to keep him, but there are going to be major changes for the Mavs due to their recent playoff failure, which means Jordan has a place there for a very high salary.
One team that might be interested are the Portland Trail Blazers, but that has more to do with their free agency dealings. If LaMarcus Aldridge does leave, a lot of money opens up for some big signings in the frontcourt. Jordan isn’t the only big man on the market, but there’s a good chance he’ll be the first one the Blazers call should they be in need of him.