Add the Trail Blazers to the list of teams with interest in potential trade candidate DeAndre Jordan, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times, who reports (via Twitter) that Portland is among the clubs that have tried to engage the Clippers in trade discussions.
Besides the Blazers, the Cavaliers and Bucks are a couple of the other teams that are reportedly interested in making a play for Jordan. However, league sources tell Stein (Twitter link) that the Clippers have yet to receive a trade offer for Jordan that they’ve found “seriously tempting.”
While Jordan will be eligible to reach unrestricted free agency this summer and the Clippers won’t want to risk losing him for nothing, the team also won’t want to throw in the towel on the playoff hunt — L.A. currently holds the No. 8 seed in the West. Additionally, there’s no guarantee that this will be the final year of Jordan’s contract, since he has a $24MM+ player option for next season that isn’t necessarily a lock to be declined.
Of course, potential uncertainty about that option decision may cloud Jordan’s value on the trade market — some teams may not want to acquire him as a rental, while others may not want to be locked into that $24MM+ commitment for next season.
Jordan would be an interesting target for the Trail Blazers, who currently have Jusuf Nurkic manning the middle. Nurkic has been solid at center for Portland, but Jordan has a more extensive track record and is viewed as a stronger rim protector and rebounder. It’s also worth noting that current Blazers president Neil Olshey was part of the Clippers’ front office when the team drafted Jordan in 2008.
If the Clips and Blazers were to negotiate a deal involving Jordan, Portland would likely need to include at least one of Evan Turner, Maurice Harkless, and Meyers Leonard in order to make the salaries work. All three of those players are under contract through 2019/20.