NBA Free Agency: Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan “still in play”


May 6, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (6) reacts in game two of the second round of the NBA Playoffs against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The talks over who may be able to sign DeAndre Jordan in free agency are nearly narrowed down to two teams: the Los Angeles Clippers and the Dallas Mavericks. For the sake of the Clippers’ defense, though, resigning Jordan is a must. Because even with DJ — an All-Defensive first team member and two time league leader in rebounds per game — the Clippers struggled defensively this season.

More from Clipperholics

They ranked just 15th in defensive efficiency and only 16th in rebounding rate, and without another elite defensive big man available, the Clippers can’t afford to lose Jordan. His 2.2 blocks, 15 rebounds and 11.5 points per game on 71.0 percent shooting (dunking) are too important, and his general freakish athleticism makes too much difference in the paint. And as good as Tyson Chandler may be as a post defender, he just can’t compete with what Jordan can do now.

As has been reported by Sam Amick of USA Today Sports, Jordan’s free agent meetings will take place over the next few days:

"“three people with knowledge of his situation said he is expected to meet with at least four teams — the Clippers, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks — in the first few days of free agency.”"

Considering that Jordan is meeting with four teams, he’s obviously willing to weigh up his options. That being said, it’s not as though free agents never meet with other teams as more of a formality — even if they feel like they’re probably going to stay where they are anyway.

As for Jordan’s current intentions, though, we can’t be sure.

What’s interesting about Shelburne’s comment is that even in the midst of other teams trying to pry him away, and talks of him leaving only intensifying, there have been few more words from the Clippers or Doc Rivers (for now, at least) to reassure fans that he will be staying.

Doc said back in May that he thought Jordan would most likely receive a max contract, but since then we haven’t exactly heard many suggestions as to whether or not he’s expected to stay. The Clippers may lack depth (although that is changing), but they still have superior talent to the Lakers and Mavericks, whilst the Knicks hardly even enter the conversation. In addition to that, the Clippers can also offer Jordan a five-year max contract of $109 million, which would give him $20 million more than if he went anywhere else.

Tim MacMahon of ESPN has reported that Jordan’s decision will most likely come down to the Mavericks and the Clippers, and now Chandler Parsons has even met with him in an attempt to sway his decision.

The next few days could well decide Jordan’s future. Will he continue in L.A. to reach more than 10 years with the Clippers? Or will he try and emerge as the franchise center elsewhere?

Only time will tell.

Next: A post-draft update of the Clippers' roster