Answering questions about DeAndre Jordan’s upcoming free agency

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2 – How is DeAndre Jordan worth $100m if he can’t create his own shot?

May 10, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (6) shoots a free throw against Houston Rockets in game three of the second round of the NBA Playoffs. at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The game of basketball is simple: score more points than your opponent and you’re crowned the victor, so it’s somewhat not crazy to see why some can come to the conclusion that a player who can’t create his own basket in the half-court — or full-court for that matter — isn’t worth north of $100 million.

But here’s the kicker: it’s much easier to outscore your opponents you 1) can limit their possessions and 2) can limit how many points they score. On this Clippers team, Jordan has a huge hand in making the above points a reality.

Jordan is far from perfect as a defensive player, but he’s shown improvement in every season under Doc Rivers, and with bigs generally hitting their prime in their mid-to-late 20s (Jordan is 26), it’s not out of the question that DeAndre could take a Tyson Chandler-esque leap as a defensive player within the next three years.

In the playoffs, the Clippers defense was 7.5 points/100 possessions better when Jordan was on the floor. In the regular season, Jordan ranked 15th overall in ESPN’s defensive real plus-minus statistic; over at Basketball-Reference Jordan ranked 7th in defensive rating on the season, 1st in defensive win shares, and 11th in defensive box plus/minus.

And he’s still improving — if the Clippers are willing to bet on this, it’s hard to blame them for doing so.

But the real reason why the Jordan is worth $100 million to this team? See next slide.