Despite looking like a team with all the pieces in place to be a force in the West for more than just this season, DeAndre Jordan not getting along with head coach Vinny Del Negro is forcing the Los Angeles Clippers to look for a trading partner to take their center, with the Boston Celtics and Kevin Garnett often mentioned but unlikely to happen.
The Clippers are having conversations with the Celtics regarding the matter, but Garnett still has his no-trade clause in the contract, and the official word is that the Boston Celtics aren’t talking to anyone or considering any trades at the moment, especially after doing so well despite the injuries in recent weeks.
Jordan has quite a hefty contract, owed $22 million for the next couple of seasons. Chris Paul is hitting free agency this summer, and with Del Negro not quite pleased with his starting center’s development, or lack thereof, he has told the front office to find a trading partner for Jordan, although with his contract, it might not be easy if the Garnett option those not materialize.
What’s so wrong with Jordan? Despite early season positive signs, the Clippers aren’t happy with Jordan’s commitment on defense on certain plays, still making too many mistakes, relying too much on his athleticism and blocking ability to cover for bad positioning and decisions at times. Same goes for his offense, which remains based on his ability to score points right near or above the rim. His minutes have dropped to 24.6 per game this season (over 27 minutes last year), while his field goal percentage has dropped to 59.9% and his free throw shooting (42.9%) continues to be atrocious.
Jordan is a more efficient player when it comes to his production per minutes, averaging 13.9 points per 36 minutes on the floor, but the rift between him and Del Negro and the ongoing problems and difference between what Jordan brings to the table when compared with the Clippers expect of him are leading them to look for a player to fill his shoes via trade.