The Los Angeles Clippers were going to use DeAndre Jordan in a different trade scenario, but now that’s off the table, it doesn’t mean they’re still not looking to move him around, with the Portland Trail Blazers interested in a solid defensive center to block shots at the rim.
The Blazers are thinking that with Jordan, who will be making $22.4 million over the next two seasons, they have a much better big-man duo with LaMarcus Aldridge playing at power forward (although Aldridge might be looking for a Bulls trade), with Jordan’s only real weakness is his free throw shooting.
There are other issues to Jordan’s game – his work rate on defense when it doesn’t involve protecting the rim has been criticized in the past, and almost all of his field goals come from dunks. Still, he’s a starting-caliber center in the NBA, which makes his salary reasonable considering he still has an upside that hasn’t been tapped.
The issue is the Clippers here. With a new head coach, Doc Rivers, plans regarding moving certain players might have changed. Jordan was supposed to be a big part of the deal that would have brought Kevin Garnett to play for the Clippers, but that can’t happen for at least a year due to the coach for draft picks deal.
The Trail Blazers can use their cap space to absorb a contract in a lopsided trade ($14 million under the cap), and there aren’t any plans to re-sign J.J Hickson, and none of the other players who might be returning (Eric Maynor at backup point guard?) are going to seriously impact the salary cap situation. The question for Portland, who might be heading towards more than a season of lottery picks thanks to their depths problem, is if Jordan clogging their salary cap is a good chip to place their money on.
Unless they think he can vastly improve in his all-around game, which mean adding some post moves and becoming a better defender when it comes to pick & rolls, the $11 million per season salary just isn’t worth it.