3:53pm: Marc Stein of The New York Times, who initially reported that the Clippers were resistant to taking on Matthews in a trade with the Mavericks, now hears from one source that L.A. wouldn’t necessarily be opposed to the idea (Twitter link). That should keep the trade talks between the two teams alive.
3:25pm: With tonight’s deadline looming, Clippers center DeAndre Jordan is still weighing whether or not to exercise his $24.12MM option for 2018/19, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
As we’ve detailed throughout the week, the Clippers and Mavericks have engaged in discussions on a trade that would involve Jordan picking up his option and being sent to Dallas. However, the two sides have been unable to agree on the terms of that deal, with one report suggesting that Los Angeles isn’t interested in taking on Wesley Matthews, who would be the preferred outgoing piece from the Mavs’ perspective.
According to Wojnarowski, trade talks between the Clips and Mavs could pick up again, but they’ve been “dormant” today. That could leave Jordan with a decision to make before tonight 11:59pm ET deadline, and two potential roads to take.
One path would be to opt out of his contract and explore a new deal with the Mavs – or another team – in free agency. Jordan could lock in a longer-term agreement in that scenario, but would likely have to accept a more modest starting salary than his $24MM+ option salary. Additionally, Dallas would have to use most or all of its available cap room to sign the big man as a free agent. If they were instead able to trade for him using another sizable contract like Matthews’, the Mavs could retain cap space for another move.
The alternative for Jordan would be to pick up his option today, even without a trade agreement in place. In that scenario, he and his representatives could continue to work with the Clippers on a potential trade, or he could simply prepare to return to L.A. for one more season before reaching the open market in 2019.
Jordan is the last veteran with a player option decision to make, as our tracker shows. So far, 20 of 27 players holding options have decided to exercise them, a stark contrast from the last two offseasons, when just eight of 53 players opted in.