Three potential DeAndre Jordan trade scenarios as the Clippers keep fading
The Clippers big man has hired an agent, a sign that he could be ready for a trade
Clippers coach Doc Rivers recently said that he doesn't want to hear any talk about his team rebuilding. According to multiple reports, however, the front office feels a bit differently, as they've reportedly started setting the wheels in motion on a possible DeAndre Jordan trade. As David Aldridge put it recently, they've "put out feelers" to multiple teams.
And who can blame them? After Blake Griffin went down with an MCL sprain that could keep him out for up to two months, adding to a lengthy injury list, it just makes sense to at least explore trades for Jordan. Especially considering the team is just 8-14 on the season, and their record figures to only get worse with Griffin and Co. out for an extended period.
Jordan holds a player option for next season, which means he can become a free agent. Jordan has also reportedly hired an agent for the first time in two years, which could be a sign that he's on his way out of L.A. With the Clippers trending downwards, the team may want to deal him before they potentially lose him for nothing. So, what would a DeAndre Jordan trade look like? There are a number of teams that could use his services, but his $22 million salary for this season complicates things. Let's fire up the trade machine.
The Bucks are one of the first teams that jump to mind when thinking about who could use Jordan. After trading Greg Monroe in the Eric Bledsoe deal, the Bucks are thin -- literally and figuratively -- down low. Hyper-athletic and a strong rebounder, Jordan would fit perfectly into Milwaukee's front court. According to a report from Gary Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times, the Bucks are indeed interested, while the Clippers are adamant on receiving two of John Henson, Malcolm Brogdon, and Khris Middleton from the Bucks in any potential deal.
Considering it's highly unlikely the Bucks include Middleton in the deal, something like Henson, Brogdon, and Mirza Teletovic (as salary filler) would work. The Clippers would get a solid young point guard, as well as a useful, and still fairly young big man. The Bucks, however, would have to decide if it's worth giving up on Brogdon, and to a lesser extent Henson, for what could be a few-months long rental on DAJ.
The Wizards are another team that would do well to acquire Jordan -- especially considering the Eastern Conference is as winnable as it's been for a few years now. The problem for Washington, is that the Clippers would likely come calling for Kelly Oubre Jr.
Money-wise, the deal could work with just Marcin Gortat and Markieff Morris, but why would the Clippers even bother acquiring those two? Dealing Jordan would signal the start of a rebuild, and acquiring a 33-year old center and a 28-year-old power forward isn't going to do much to help you in that regard. Considering John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Otto Porter are non-starters, it appears, at least from the outside, that the only potential trade piece the Clippers would want from the Wizards would be Oubre.
Something like Gortat, Oubre, and Jason Smith (for salary filler) seems to make sense. Oubre has been fantastic this season, and would give the Clippers the talented young wing they've been searching for for so long.
With the oldest roster in the league, and LeBron James possibly on his way out of town, the Cavs could feel pressure to make a big move that would give them a better chance of knocking off the Warriors in the NBA Finals this season.
They were in the mix for Eric Bledsoe, and recently, Cleveland.com's Joe Vardon reported that the Cavs would "consider" a Tristan Thompson-DeAndre Jordan swap. However, it seems likely the Clippers would at least ask for the 2018 Nets first-round pick.
If the Cavs are willing to part with the 2018 pick, they would certainly have the assets to pull off the deal. However, if they decline to include the pick in any deal, it becomes tough to figure out a deal the Clippers would be interested in. Something like Thompson and Iman Shumpert would work salary-wise, but it's not clear if that's enough for the Clippers.
Both of these Eastern Conference squads are good fits for Jordan on the court, but there doesn't seem to be a trade either way that makes sense due to Jordan's salary.
The Celtics obviously aren't dealing Gordon Hayward, Al Horford, or Kyrie Irving, so to make the money work, they'd have to deal a number of young players such as Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Marcus Smart. That ... isn't happening -- at least not for a rental on DeAndre Jordan.
As for the Raptors, they could include Jonas Valanciunas and his $15 million salary to help make the money work, but there's really no reason for the Clippers to acquire Valanciunas, whose skill set is being phased out of the league. In addition to Valanciunas, the Clippers would likely want perhaps Jakob Poeltl and one of Toronto's talented young wings, and that probably isn't happening. The path to a Clippers-Raptors trade is more clear than one involving the Celtics, but it still seems unlikely.
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