Cleat Geeks

L.A. Clippers Have Serious Options & Questions With C DeAndre Jordan

After so many expectations and hope for a positive trend of change for the Los Angeles Clippers, injuries have once again plagued the team. The Clippers have now lost 4 of their 5 season-opening starters to injuries for a significant amount of time. PG Patrick Beverley is out for the season after his start against the New York Knicks after originally missing five games with a sore knee. C DeAndre Jordan is the only season-opening starter that has been healthy and plays consistently.

Now that the Clippers are 8-14 as well as  2nd place in the Pacific Division and 10th in the Western Conference, they are trying to find out how to win without Beverley or PF Blake Griffin, who suffered a minor knee injury in the game against their rivals in the Los Angeles Lakers. He will be out until around late January. One topic or rumor that seems to come up constantly is whether or not to trade C DeAndre Jordan to another team for key players and fill-in positions. This comes at a time when Jordan just hired an agent for him on Monday for the first time in 2 years, especially being a player-option free agent at the end of the season. Despite the multiple options the two-time 1st NBA All-Defensive team player could enquire, the Clippers should very careful of their options in regards to Jordan.


DeAndre Jordan – The Only Healthy Franchise Player

When PG Chris Paul left the Clippers, the leadership and responsibility didn’t just fall onto PF Blake Griffin but onto C DeAndre Jordan as well. While losing Paul did help make Jordan less impactful as a two-dimensional player (mostly on offense through assists) DeAndre is still making his presence known on the court. So far this season, Jordan has accounted for an average of 10.5 points per game, 13.9 rebounds per game, 1.14 blocks per game, a field goal percentage of .685%, and a free-throw percentage of .583% all on 32.4 minutes per game. Jordan has averaged 11 double-doubles in 22 games he has played and started this season. His rebounds is the 2nd highest accounted for in a season, this year is also his 5th highest field goal percentage, 4th in points per game, and his best career free-throwing percentage.

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This season so far has been brutal for the Clippers players where starting PG/SG Milos Teodosic (foot), starting SF Danilo Gallinari (glute), starting PG Patrick Beverley (knee) and starting PF Blake Griffin (knee) all suffered injuries. Teodosic and Gallinari could be back by Wednesday’s home against the Minnesota Timberwolves (14-11). Likely they could be back before a 4-game road trip starting on Wednesday, December 13th at the Orlando Magic (10-15). Blake Griffin will be out for a while with his knee injury but luckily it wasn’t a devastating knee injury. Expect him back around late January. The Clippers will be hit hard without their star Point Guard and defender in Patrick Beverley, who is out for the season.

November has been unbelievably tough for the Clippers and Clippers Nation. Los Angeles went 4-10 in the month of November including a 9-game losing streak where inefficiency, injuries, and potency all were a cause for the downfall. Despite Jordan accounting for 10.4 points per game, 12.7 rebounds per game and accounting for a .721 field goal percentage, Jordan had problems getting the ball with sloppy passing and having the paint tightly covered with him and Blake being the only consistent players outside SG Lou Williams. Teams have been focusing on Jordan and the direction of how he gets the ball, thus limiting him on offense. Even though Jordan has been one of the healthiest players on the team, it has been more difficult for him to perform on the court without a strong supporting cast outside Lou Williams.


Options The Clippers Have For Jordan: Trade, Keep And Resign, Or Lose Him

Once again, the Los Angeles Clippers have a tough decision to make with C DeAndre Jordan until February 8th. Jordan will be a player-option free agent where he can walk away and the Clippers get nothing in return. He could also be traded to another team who needs a solid rim protector of equal value. The Clippers could also wait and try to make DeAndre a new deal for either more money, take the year remaining clause on his current contract, or try and convince him to stay for less money so the team can add more solid and healthier teammates. All of them are incredibly risky to not only the Clippers organization but to DeAndre Jordan as well.

Jordan has stated that he wants to be a part of the Los Angeles Clippers organization and the Clippers organization still want to keep him. There does come the matter if they will lose a couple of their star players after the season. Griffin, Teodosic, and Gallinari have long contracts with the Clippers but this season is the last of their contract for PG Patrick Beverley, SG Lou Williams, SG Austin Rivers, and C Willie Reed. Reed and Beverley might be easier to secure for a long-term contract than Lou Williams. Keeping Griffin, Jordan, Gallinari and the rest of the Clippers enact will be expensive unless Jordan is willing to work in a contract reduction. Jordan could be interested in marketing himself for Image result for malcolm brogdon bucksadvertisements to fill in the void of the money lost from the Clippers. Thus hiring an agent for this purpose.

If the trade rumors are true then the Clippers will have to find a team that needs a solid two-dimensional player and can fill the void of both the injured players and Jordan departing. There are a number of teams willing to trade an equivalent value for DeAndre Jordan but it is unknown if they are willing to. The Milwaukee Bucks are one of the top teams interested in DeAndre and PF John Henson, 2016-2017 NBA rookie of the year in PG Malcolm Brogdon, and SF/PF Khris Middleton have come up multiple times in the trade talks. If the Clippers need to add another piece to make this trade possible, PF Brice Johnson might be the other Clipper traded too.Image result for tristan thompson

The Cleveland Cavaliers are a team that needs a solid Center and is willing to trade C Tristian Thompson, SG Iman Shumpert and a 2018 NBA Draft pick (possibly the Nets’ high pick). Tristian would be in Los Angeles where his girlfriend in Khloe Kardashian lives. The problem is for the Cavs is that Iman Shumpert has recently undergone knee surgery and will be out for another 8 weeks. Finally, the Washington Wizards are the latest team to come into the trade rumors for DeAndre Jordan. C Marcin Gortat, PF Markieff Morris and 2nd year rising star Kelly Oubre Jr. could be in the trade discussion. PF Brice Johnson or SF Sam Dekker could be the trade pieces needed to be added to make the trade equivalent.


Winning Cures Everything

All of the good offers that the Clippers will receive for C DeAndre Jordan will help the team in the short-run but will it be in the long run as well? The only thing that may truly benefit the Clippers is if they receive the Brooklyn Nets high Draft pick in the 2018 NBA Draft from the Cleveland Cavaliers. There are a ton of great top Center prospect that L.A. could be in the running for. Losing DeAndre when the Clippers have already lost Griffin or a while and Beverley for the season won’t entirely help the team.

The Clippers might need to take another 3 games to get situated and possibly prepare for Gallinari and Teodosic to be back at 100%. After they get back in the lineup, the Los Angeles Clippers will become more efficient in scoring, defending, and overall moving more efficiently. Time will tell if the Clippers will make the move but winning will heal every wound Los Angeles has suffered so far this season.



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