Answering questions about DeAndre Jordan’s upcoming free agency

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3 – Why not spend that $100 million on other talent?

Jan 27, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (6) dunks as Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton (22) defends during the second quarter at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Here lies the big misconception.

Because Jordan could net up to $100 million this summer if he does demand the max from the Clippers (and per reports he will), this doesn’t mean the Clippers can let Jordan walk in free agency, taking that same $100 million and spreading it to other players in free agency in an attempt to improve the teams wing issues and depth — if this was the case, they’d be mentioned alongside soon-to-be free agents such as Khris Middleton (MIL — RFA), Jimmy Butler (CHI — RFA), Wesley Matthews (POR — RFA), etc.

Let’s assume Jordan doesn’t return to the Clippers and takes his talents to one of Dallas, Los Angeles (Lakers), Portland, Boston, New York, or wherever. Using the cap numbers over at, the Clippers will still have (again, by my final projections and calculations) $66.874 million in guaranteed salary. If the projected cap of $67.1 million is correct, that’d leave the Clippers with $225.9K to work with, which isn’t enough to sign a player for the veterans minimum.

Removing Jordan Hamilton and Lester Hudson‘s deals out of the equation, that cap number dips to $64.843 million, and if you want to take things a step further, removing Jamal Crawford‘s deal (non-guaranteed) and factoring in how much of his guarantee is owed ($1.5 million), you’ve $60.668 million in guaranteed money, or roughly $7 million in cap space, or at least you think you do.

Here’s where things get tricky: while the Clippers would look to have $7 million in freed cap space, when factoring in cap holds from other free agents this number dips until they are signed elsewhere, re-signed, or renounced. For example, this off-season (per Basketball Insiders), the Clippers have to worry about $23 million in cap holds (highest = DAJ’s at $17.160 million), leaving the Clippers with $0 dollars to offer free agents outside of specialized exceptions for teams over the cap unless Jordan 1) re-signs, leaving the team with 0 cap space or 2) leaves, putting the Clippers in a situation with very very very little space.