DeAndre Jordan told Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today Sports last week that “the free agency process is definitely going to be a fun one.” The Clippers’ center, who will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, has good reason to be looking forward to the summer. He’s enjoying another season of gaudy raw numbers that could land him a maximum deal.
Jordan, who is making $11.44MM this season, is averaging 11.2 PPG and 2.2 blocks. His 14.8 rebounds per game and .709 field goal percentage are both tops in the league. He’s this season’s only player to post three 20-point, 20-rebound games. He ranks second in the NBA in defensive win shares.
“He’s clearly the defensive player of the year,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said, per Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com. “If anybody else gets that award, we need to have an investigation.”
Winning the award could further solidify Jordan’s status, but it’s likely that he inks a maximum deal regardless. Another thing to keep in mind: Jordan will only turn 27 in July and has started every regular season game for the Clippers since the 2010/11 season. He brings size, length and athleticism. Outside of his offensive limitations, there isn’t much to dislike. With top big men being hard to find, there are several teams — including the Clippers — that could conceivably make pitches to Jordan, who said he has no interest in signing a one-year contract, as Markazi wrote.
“I’m not going to be greedy and sign a one-year deal,” Jordan said. “Nah. I’m just focused on getting it over with and focusing on playing again. I’m just trying to win here.”
It’s too early to tell which teams are seriously interested in reeling in Jordan, who, as Markazi pointed out in the aforementioned story, has been making the rounds on national sports talk radio shows recently while gaining more mainstream attention. The market could be dictated by the actions of other soon-to-be unrestricted free agent big men Marc Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge. Tim Duncan is in the final year of his contract and if he retires, that could make things even more interesting because the Spurs would be in play for a big man.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.