Expect DeAndre Jordan to sign a long-term deal this summer


Cap smoothing: get used to the term as you’ll hear a lot about it in this summer.


According to several major outlets, the National Basketball Players Assocation declined a motion from the NBA and its owners to gradually increase the salary cap over time as the NBA heads toward its newest contract which increases league revenue to $2.6 billion. And because of this, many capologists are expecting the salary cap to jump to nearly $90 million in the summer of 2016; for comparison, the cap was less than $70 million this past summer and will continue to be this summer.

So what does this mean for the players?

Many believe there will be guys who, instead of opting into long-term deals, will sign one-year deals to take advantage of the cap hike that’ll take place in 2016. A calculated risk as injury or another unknown factor could cause an immediate decline in free agency value, betting on ones self in the particular situation isn’t crazy given the benefits from doing so.

One of the players who won’t be partaking in the one-year deal wave that’s likely to hit the open mark? Los Angeles’ DeAndre Jordan.

“I’m not going to be greedy and sign a one-year deal,” said Jordan on the prospects of accepting a one-year deal this summer to take advantage of the expected 2016 cap spike. “Nah. I’m just focused on getting it over with and focusing on playing again. I’m just trying to win here.”

If true, Jordan will avoid any situation where the next season poses as a risk to his potential earnings in free agency, though he’d be settling for less guaranteed money than if he’d wait until 2016. Per calculations from ProBasketballTalk, the difference in signing a five-year deal this summer instead of signing a one-year deal plus a five-year deal the following summer is somewhere in the ballpark of ~$55 million.

For any NBA player, that’s a lot of money to reject, but again, the risks to get to that point may outweigh to fortunes, with the biggest risk being injury.

Since missing two games during the 2010-11 season, no player has played in more NBA games than DeAndre Jordan (381 total), as he’s set to play in all 82 games barring an unforeseen setback. But as we’ve seen recently, it takes little to succumb to injury — Portland’s Wesley Matthews, whose 20th in games played since ’10-11, recently tore his achilles on the eve of entering the free agent market unrestricted following a career-best season. In sports its unkind to predict injury, but at this point it’s a reality and injury could stand between Jordan getting max contract money or something at or below market value if some team believes he could rehab and return to form.

“I’m not going to be greedy and sign a one-year deal.” – DeAndre Jordan

For the Clippers, Jordan agreeing to a deal prior to 2016 is huge for cap reasons, With a cheaper deal, the Clippers will have a bit more room to work under the cap. It’s unclear what this team will look like two years from now, but if they’re able to control all free agent matters going into the summer, the Big 3 of Jordan, Chris Paul, and Blake Griffin will remain. THanks to the cap boost, the Clippers will finally be in the position to put a decent supporting cast around them though, after seeing what’s been done in the past, that’s not a factor you can guarantee on being done.

Beside Paul, Griffin and Jordan (if re-signed and signs the contract projected by ProBasketballTalk), the Clippers will also have J.J. Redick, Spencer Hawes, and C.J. Wilcox under contract. If Jordan signs the max this summer, that equates to $76.407 million in total cap. From there, you factor in likely signings in the summer of 2015 and the Clippers could be somewhere in the ballpark of ~$85 million come 2016.

All-in-all, it’s good to hear Jordan not taking things for granted in the open market. Though the opportunity to maximize ones value comes often in the NBA (at Jordan’s age, he’d be offered a long-term deal if he signed one-year deals for the next three or four years), but so do detractors like injuries.

Now comes the question of whether DeAndre Jordan’s long-term deal with the Clippers or elsewhere.