Ranking the Clippers’ best trade partners for DeAndre Jordan
Earlier this week, rumors surfaced about the L.A. Clippers engaging in trade discussions surrounding DeAndre Jordan.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise considering Jordan is the Clippers’ best asset. At age 29, Jordan is averaging 10.4 points and 13.8 rebounds. He has a $22.64 million deal for this year and a player option for next season. He could bring defensive impact to a team looking to get over the top.
For L.A., they’re desperate to keep Blake Griffin happy in the post-CP3 era. The Clippers ended a nine-game losing streak but they lack the offensive scoring punch to prevent another one from happening.
Plus, the team was relying on Danilo Gallinari to finally provide some stability at small forward. Gallinari hasn’t played since early November and he will not return until at least early December.
Veteran guard Lou Williams has been the team’s only reliable scoring option outside of Blake Griffin. Williams is averaging 17.3 points per game this season and teams will be interested. However, moving Williams would put the Clippers’ offense in an even deeper hole.
Additionally, the Clippers do not have any young players that seem to be the future of the team. Thus, that leaves Jordan as the Clippers’ only hope to find either short or long term help for a team that isn’t good enough to win the Western Conference with the core built around Griffin and Jordan.
What teams make the most sense for DeAndre Jordan?
A recent Uproxx article, outlined Jordan’s fits with all the NBA teams. It makes a compelling argument for the Milwaukee Bucks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, and Orlando Magic based on trade assets and fits for D.J.
However, here are the Clippers’ ideal trade partners ranked. These are the teams who may want DeAndre Jordan and save the Clippers in the process.
No. 1: Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks proved to be all-in on an NBA title when they traded for Eric Bledsoe. DeAndre Jordan would be an upgrade over John Henson and Thon Maker. He would finally bring some stability to the Bucks’ center position and he would make them one of the lengthiest teams in the NBA. That’s a nightmare for any of the NBA’s top teams.
L.A. should be able to command Henson or Maker. However, the Bucks may also be willing to move Jabari Parker or Khris Middleton to the Clippers. L.A.’s dream scenario would include Malcolm Brogdon. The former rookie of the year is expendable since the Bucks added Bledsoe. Ultimately, the Bucks have all the assets the Clippers would want for DeAndre Jordan.
No. 2: Boston Celtics
The Celtics have already been one of the NBA’s hottest teams and that can only get brighter with DeAndre Jordan at center. Al Horford is having one of the best seasons of his career and that might improve if he is able to move to power forward. Jordan could handle Horford’s defensive liabilities and Horford could handle Jordan’s offensive deficiencies. Plus, Kyrie Irving could help Jordan thrive by feeding him through lobs.
Since the Clippers are not getting Al Horford, they’d happily settle for Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum. Even a deal including Marcus Morris and Marcus Smart might be enough to entice the Clippers to move their center. Those two-way veterans would also bring a spark to the Clippers. If L.A. could get a draft pick that would be golden too.
No. 3: Portland Trail Blazers
The Blazers are in the middle of the pack in the Western Conference. They already have Jusuf Nurkic providing size and shooting in the paint. Maybe Nurkic moves to power forward to play next to DeAndre Jordan or maybe he gets swapped for him. Regardless, adding Jordan could give them a capable defender as well as a finisher in the paint. Jordan wouldn’t take away from Damian Lillard or C.J. McCollum scoring the ball either.
With Evan Turner, Al-Farouq Aminu, Maurice Harkless, and Ed Davis, Portland has the wing depth and salary filler to entice the Clippers. Zach Collins and Caleb Swanigan are rookies that the Clippers should find interest in. Shabazz Napier might give the Clippers some point guard help. The Blazers certainly have a good variety of assets to make the Clippers move Jordan.
No. 4: Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers could really use DeAndre Jordan to completely reverse their fortunes on the defensive end. Jordan’s contract situation also does not impair the Lakers’ long-term plans to get a marquee free agent. Jordan would eat up Lonzo Ball’s bricked shots and catch all of his highlight passes as well.
A veteran salary dump like Corey Brewer or Loul Deng would probably be included in any sort of deal between the Staples Center rivals. After that, the Clippers could pray they land a young player with potential like Brandon Ingram, Larry Nance Jr., or Julius Randle.
Randle and Nance don’t make a ton of sense next to Griffin but they could be leveraged to a third team. Also, Ingram appears to be untouchable. That means the Clippers may have to settle for Jordan Clarkson. Sadly, Clarkson might be enough of a back court spark to get this deal done.
No 5: Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cleveland Cavalier may trade for DeAndre Jordan just to prove they haven’t completely given up on playing defense. Veterans like Dwyane Wade, Derrick Rose, and Jeff Green could help the Clippers but none are worth giving up Jordan. In fact, the Cavs lack any real young players that would help the Clippers in the future. It doesn’t appear that the team would move Isaiah Thomas either since LeBron James really wants to play with him.
Therefore, the Clippers would probably have to settle for taking on some of the contracts of Iman Shumpert, Jae Crowder, J.R. Smith or Tristan Thompson. Again, these are scrappy veterans who could contribute to the Clippers. However, it is probably not worth moving DeAndre unless the team is desperate or gets a draft pick.
Ultimately, the Clippers don’t have a ton of trade partners that make sense for both sides. The Magic, Mavs, Suns, Spurs, Thunder, or Wizards could also make sense for Jordan. It seems like moving Jordan would be a lateral move, a move to tank or a move just to keep him from leaving for nothing in the offseason.
Nonetheless, this could all change as the trade deadline approaches and teams start unveiling themselves as pretenders and contenders.