After being the focus of the biggest free agent controversy in years, DeAndre Jordan tells Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe that he’s happy with how it turned out. Jordan initially committed to the Mavericks before changing his mind a few days later and signing a four-year deal to stay with the Clippers. The eighth-year center hasn’t gotten everything he asked for in free agency, but he’s content to be with a contender and in familiar territory. Jordan had hoped for a larger role in the offense and wanted a coach who would call more plays for him. But his offensive numbers are fairly similar to last season’s at 12.3 points and 6.5 shots per game.
“There is still more things that I want to do to better my game,” Jordan said. “But on certain teams, everybody has a role to help that team be successful. I know what mine is with this team. … I found my niche, I found something that I’m good at and want to be great at. But I don’t want to be labeled as [just a shot blocker and defender], I want to continue to get better all around. But for this team to be great, that’s what I’ve got to be.”
There’s more basketball news out of L.A.:
- Several changes, including the addition of Luc Mbah a Moute, have helped the Clippers build a defense that ranks among the league’s best, according to Rowan Kavner of NBA.com. Mbah a Moute, who signed with L.A. in September, has sparked a remarkable turnaround after a slow start in November and December. The Clippers surrendered 97.2 points per 100 possessions in their last 15 games, the best performance in the NBA over that stretch.
- Clippers coach Doc Rivers seems unlikely to pursue anyone on the buyout market, according to Dan Woike of The Orange County Register. “Overall, guys getting bought out aren’t guys that necessarily are going to change the destiny of your franchise,” Rivers said.
- Despite being among a handful of teams that can afford two maximum-salaried free agents, the Lakers are a long shot to land Kevin Durant, writes Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. Three straight losing seasons have taken some glamour away from the franchise, and Pincus said leaving a contender in Oklahoma City to play with L.A.’s young core would represent a gamble for Durant. Although, if the Lakers do get Durant, they may trade some of the youngsters to build a veteran team around him.