DeAndre Jordan

Clippers Notes: Jordan, Boban, Teodosic

Of all this season’s trade candidates who didn’t end up being dealt, DeAndre Jordan may have been the most frequent subject of trade rumors. However, after sticking with the Clippers through last month’s deadline, Jordan doesn’t seem eager to leave Los Angeles this summer. Although he’ll have the opportunity to become a free agent in July, Jordan tells Michael Lee of Yahoo Sports that his preference is to stay where he is.

“I’m here and that’s what I’m focused on,” Jordan said. “I’m excited. Like I told somebody the other day, I hope I can play another 10 years here. That’s what I’m focused on now.”

Jordan, who spoke about the “great times” he has had over the course of his 10 years with the Clippers, is probably unlikely to exercise his player option for 2018/19, according to Lee. However, even if he opts out, the veteran center could ink a new deal with the Clips. Whether such a deal is in the cards remains to be seen.

Here’s more on the Clippers:

  • Center Boban Marjanovic was an afterthought in this season’s Blake Griffin blockbuster, with the analysis of that deal mostly focusing on the other pieces the Clippers received — Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, and a first-round pick. However, Marjanovic has been proving his value to the Clippers as of late, writes Elliott Teaford of The Daily Breeze. Boban has one more year left on his deal after this season and will earn $7MM in 2018/19.
  • Clippers point guard Milos Teodosic says he has no regrets about leaving Europe to come to the NBA, as he tells Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. “So far, I really enjoy [playing in the NBA],” Teodosic said. “I’m happy to be here and I really enjoy playing with the best players in the world and against the best players in the world.”
  • Earlier today, we opened up a discussion on the Western Conference playoff race, which features the ninth-seeded Clippers looking to work their way into the top eight.

Pacific Notes: Jordan, LeBron, Harris, Cauley-Stein

The lack of teams with ample salary-cap space this summer will present a tough choice for Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, as Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer explains. Jordan has a player option of $24.1MM this summer and multiple league executives told O’Connor he probably wouldn’t receive an annual salary approaching that on the open market. Some of the teams that will have cap room, such as the Nets, Hawks and Sixers, aren’t looking to add a veteran center at a high salary, O’Connor continues. It’s plausible that Jordan will opt in and take his chances on the open market in 2019, O’Connor adds.

Also around the Pacific Division:

  • The lack of elite, established players on their current rosters will make it tough sell for the Lakers and Clippers to land LeBron James this summer, Marc Spears of The Undefeated opines. The Lakers could sign two major free agents this summer, but the Clippers don’t have that much cap room, Spears notes. The Clippers may have hurt their cause to sign a top free agent by trading away Blake Griffin in the first year of his long-term contract, Spears adds.
  • Forward Tobias Harris has been traded three times during his career and he’s taken the latest one in stride, as he told Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders. Harris was the top player acquired by the Clippers in the Griffin blockbuster. “My first trade from Milwaukee to Orlando was a situation where I just wanted to prove myself to the league,” Harris said. “When I was traded from Orlando to Detroit, it was a situation where I wanted to help the team get to the playoffs, and that’s similar to this one here, too.” 
  • Willie Cauley-Stein establishing his market value is among the storylines surrounding the Kings the remainder of the season, according to James Ham of Cauley-Stein has to emerge as the defensive stopper he was in college and improve his rebounding to earn an extension this offseason, Ham continues. The development of the De’Aaron FoxBogdan Bogdanovic backcourt and the need for Buddy Hield to become a playmaker are some of the other things to watch, Ham adds.

Woj’s Latest: Cavaliers, Clippers, Kings, Jazz

In his latest piece for, Adrian Wojnarowski goes into extensive detail on the deadline deals completed last week by the Cavaliers, and offers some fascinating tidbits on how those trades got done, and one potential blockbuster that didn’t get done. Let’s dive in and round up the highlights…

  • Before making his series of trades, Cavaliers GM Koby Altman got an elusive face-to-face sitdown with LeBron James to let his star player know what he was working on. Altman later met with LeBron again to tell him that the trades for Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance, George Hill, and Rodney Hood were complete, and to ask for his blessing on the deal that sent Dwyane Wade to Miami, says Wojnarowski.
  • Altman had received ownership approval to trade Jae Crowder, Channing Frye, Iman Shumpert, and the Cavs’ own 2018 first-round pick to the Clippers for DeAndre Jordan, according to Wojnarowski. Los Angeles was on board with the deal, but wanted to find a third team to take Shumpert and to give the Clips a center, since they didn’t want another shooting guard. Altman and Clippers GM Michael Winger weren’t able to find that third team, and since L.A. was unwilling to take on Shumpert (or Tristan Thompson or J.R. Smith) and the Cavs had some reservations about extending Jordan’s contract in the offseason, the deal ultimately fell through.
  • The three-way trade between the Cavaliers, Kings, and Jazz nearly fell apart on deadline day when Sacramento insisted that Georgios Papagiannis be included in the deal. According to Woj, Cleveland and Utah were “adamant” that Papagiannis had never been discussed, but Kings assistant GM Brandon Williams insists that his notes confirm that either Papagiannis or Malachi Richardson would be included.
  • As an aside, Wojnarowski writes that Williams was handling negotiations because GM Vlade Divac “seldom gets on the phone for the trade-building parts,” even though any Kings trade requires his approval, along with the approval of owner Vivek Ranadive.
  • The Cavaliers were very much against Papagiannis’ inclusion in the trade, since taking on his $2.3MM cap hit would have cost the club significantly more than that in tax payments. Utah also had no interest in acquiring the former lottery pick, with Wojnarowski suggesting that Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey was “livid” about the insertion of Papagiannis and was ready to call off the trade. As for the Kings, they were hoping to move 2016’s 13th overall pick to avoid the embarrassment of waiving him themselves, says Woj.
  • Eventually, Altman was able to work out a solution and talked Lindsey into it, per Wojnarowski. Papagiannis’ rest-of-season salary for this year and his guaranteed salary for 2018/19 totaled $3.2MM, and the Cavaliers were willing to pay that amount to Sacramento, but Cleveland was limited to sending out $2.1MM for the rest of this league year. Altman convinced the Jazz to send the Kings the remaining $1.1MM, with Lindsey getting a little something out of the deal: the ability to swap 2024 second-round picks with the Cavs. The Kings, having been compensated for Papagiannis’ remaining salary, simply waived him rather than insisting he be a part of the trade.

L.A. Notes: Thomas, Ball, Rivers, Jordan

Isaiah Thomas looked more like his old self in his Lakers debut Saturday night, writes Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. Two days after being acquired in a trade with the Cavaliers, Thomas posted 22 points and six assists and showed flashes of the dynamic offense he displayed in Boston.

“I wanted to bring something to the table,” Thomas said. “I felt like I got my powers back playing on this team.”

During a Friday night dinner with coach Luke Walton, Thomas received a crash course in Lakers philosophy. He studied the team’s playbook on his iPad, but admitted he had little knowledge of the plays when he took the court last night. It barely mattered as his natural talents took over.

“He brings another dimension to what we have,” Walton said. “When he is able to control pick-and-rolls and get people shots, obviously we couldn’t run a ton of stuff because he has been with us for one day, but he was good.”

There’s more this morning from Los Angeles:

  • Thomas’ duties with his new team will include serving as a mentor for rookie point guard Lonzo Ball, Youngmisuk adds in the same story. Lakers president Magic Johnson said Ball, who has been sidelined since mid-January with a knee injury, will remain in the starting lineup when he returns. “I mean, that’s fine,” Thomas said. “I have been in the league six more years than he has. Obviously, I am going to help him out. We are part of the same team, he’s a special young player, and he is going to be an incredible talent in this league for years to come. My job is to help where I can. I am still in my prime. So it is not like I am taking a backseat to anybody. I am here to be who I am and here to make a difference on this team, and I am excited about the opportunity.”
  • Clippers guard Austin Rivers is focused on making the playoffs after missing nearly six weeks with an injured right ankle, relays Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. Rivers was diagnosed with post interior ankle impingement and had to have anti-inflammatory injections to keep the swelling down. He said he did so much conditioning work that he wasn’t tired when he returned to the court Friday. “Yeah, man, it has been 18 games. That’s the most games I’ve ever missed,” Rivers said. “It was new for me. I had to take that rehab process more seriously. But I feel great, though.”
  • DeAndre Jordan remained with the Clippers through the trade deadline, but the veteran center still isn’t sure he’s in the team’s long-range plans. In a video tweeted by ESPN’s Sports Center, Jordan responded to a reporter’s question of whether he feels wanted in L.A. by saying, “What you think?” When the reporter said, “I don’t know,” Jordan retorted, “Me neither.”

Windhorst/Lowe On Cavs, Clips, Dinwiddie, Hood

The Cavaliers had an eventful trade deadline, trading away six players and taking back four new ones in three Thursday trades. However, it sounds as if the team was somewhat close to making an even bigger splash. Appearing today on Zach Lowe’s Lowe Post podcast, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said that there were people around the NBA who believed on Thursday morning that the Cavs and Clippers were gaining traction on a DeAndre Jordan deal.

“The reason people thought that was because there were other teams that were engaged in trade talks with pieces that would have spun off from that trade,” Windhorst explained. “So it got to the point where the Cavs and Clippers felt like they were close enough to some sort of agreement with each other that they could begin looking to bring in third teams and that’s why I know about it.”

According to Lowe, who says that the Cavaliers were never willing to send the Nets’ 2018 first-rounder to the Clippers in exchange for Jordan, talks between Clevleand and L.A. never got into “the red zone.” Still, Windhorst says that the two teams got at least “some distance down the road” before the Cavs opted to make other deals and the Clippers decided to keep Jordan.

Here’s more from Windhorst and Lowe:

  • The Nets were asking for “a lot” in return for Spencer Dinwiddie, according to Lowe, who says the Cavaliers explored a trade for Dinwiddie that involved Cleveland’s own 2018 first-rounder. Such a deal would have had the added benefit of improving the value of Brooklyn’s first-rounder for the Cavs, the Nets’ asking price was too high for Cleveland.
  • According to Lowe, Avery Bradley‘s asking price for his upcoming free agency is “gargantuan.” Lowe expects the Clippers guard to have to recalibrate his expectations at some point.
  • Lowe doesn’t think Rodney Hood‘s deal in restricted free agency this summer will be exorbitant, speculating that the Cavaliers might be able to lock him up for something in the neighborhood of $10-12MM per year.
  • Windhorst, who said last week that the Cavaliers had explored whether George Hill would be open to a buyout next year if they were to acquire him, clarified some details on that report. Since Hill was believed to be “miserable” with the Kings, per Windhorst, the Cavs looked into whether he’d be willing to reduce the guarantee on his $19MM salary for 2018/19 in order to facilitate a trade. That didn’t end up happening though.
  • Windhorst and Lowe said today there has been a lot of chatter around the NBA about the Grizzlies‘ approach to the deadline. For about 36 to 48 hours, Memphis was giving the teams the impression that they were on the verge of moving Tyreke Evans, presumably in an effort to get clubs to increase their offers, according to Lowe, who says the Grizzlies may have “out-thought themselves.”

DeAndre Jordan, Tyreke Evans, Marco Belinelli Stay Put

A handful of players frequently mentioned as trade candidates in the weeks leading up to the deadline stayed put today, according to various reports.

The Clippers have held onto center DeAndre Jordan through the deadline, a league source tells ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). The team had privately maintained throughout the process that it was fine hanging onto Jordan if no appealing offers surfaced, so this isn’t a huge shock. The next key deadline for Jordan will arrive this summer, as he decides whether to exercise his $24MM+ player option or turn it down to hit to the free agent market.

Tyreke Evans is staying put in Memphis, according to Chris Haynes of ESPN (Twitter link). This decision is a little more surprising, since the Grizzlies had held Evans out of action for the last week in anticipation of moving him. However, it appears they never received the first-round pick they were seeking. Wojnarowski reported earlier today that Memphis may try to re-sign Evans using its mid-level exception this July.

The Hawks made some small deals today, but trade candidate Marco Belinelli remains on the roster, per Sam Amick of USA Today (Twitter link). There were reportedly a handful of teams with interest in Belinelli, but perhaps the offers Atlanta received risked adding salary to the team’s cap for 2018/19.

We’ll wait to see if word of any other deals trickles in now that the deadline has passed, but for now it looks like several other trade candidates aren’t going anywhere either. That list includes Avery Bradley, Kenneth Faried, Derrick Favors, and Evan Fournier, among many others.

Trade Deadline Notes: Evans, Faried, Jordan, Muhammad

The Grizzlies haven’t been able to get a first-round pick for Tyreke Evans and may decide to hang onto him, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. If that happens, Memphis will try to re-sign him this summer with its mid-level exception. The Grizzlies could still get at least one second-rounder if they decide to move him today, adds Zach Lowe of ESPN. (Twitter link)

A few more last minute-notes before the deadline arrives:

  • Representatives for Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried are still hoping for a deal, Woj adds (Twitter link). Denver has discussed Faried with several teams, including the Pacers, but nothing has happened yet.
  • The Cavaliers talked to the Clippers this morning about DeAndre Jordan, but opted for for a series of deals that gave them more athleticism, youth and depth, tweets Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.
  • The Timberwolves may buy out Shabazz Muhammad if they can’t work out a last-minute deal, according to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated (Twitter link). A source tells Spears he will be a coveted free agent if that happens.
  • The trade of Noah Vonleh to the Bulls is the last one the Trail Blazers plan to make today, relays Jason Quick of NBC Sports Northwest (Twitter link). That deal was enough to get Portland under the luxury tax.

Raptors Explore Trade For DeAndre Jordan

It may be a long shot, with a third team likely required to help facilitate a deal, but the Raptors have tried to work their way into the mix for Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, reports Marc Stein of The New York Times (via Twitter).

Jordan, who has been linked to the Cavaliers, Bucks, Trail Blazers, and Wizards, among other teams, is viewed as a somewhat tricky trade candidate, since there’s uncertainty about whether he’ll exercise a $24MM+ player option for 2018/19.

Jordan’s current $22.64MM salary could also be an issue for the Raptors, who are less than $2MM away from the luxury tax threshold this season. Any deal for Jordan would likely have to be built around Jonas Valanciunas, who has a $15.46MM salary. However, Valanciunas’ multiyear contract may not appeal to the Clippers, which might be why Stein suggests the involvement of a third team.

The Raptors have also traded away their 2018 first-round pick already, and are ineligible to move their 2019 first-rounder.

Cavs, Clippers Continue To Discuss DeAndre Jordan

FEBRUARY 8, 7:48am: The Cavaliers and Clippers continue to discuss the possibility of a Jordan trade, and have had conversations with possible third teams as they explore ways to make a deal, league sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

FEBRUARY 7, 5:59pm: Clippers center DeAndre Jordan is the “number one target” for the Cavaliers in advance of tomorrow afternoon’s trade deadline, according to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports. Appearing on a podcast with Chris Mannix, Charania says Cleveland’s front office continues to hold out hope of a deal.

The Cavs’ dream scenario is for L.A. to accept an offer that includes what Charania calls one of their “bad contracts” — either J.R. Smith or Tristan Thompson — along with Cleveland’s first-rounder in exchange for Jordan. The Clippers reportedly won’t consider the deal unless Brooklyn’s unprotected first-round pick is included.

Smith is signed for $14.72MM next season plus a non-guaranteed $15.68MM in 2019/20, while Thompson will make more than $36MM over the next two years. The Nets’ pick is No. 8 in our latest Reverse Standings, and Cleveland’s falls at 24th.

Jordan is putting up typical numbers in his 10th season with the Clippers, averaging 11.5 points, 14.9 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game. He could be a difference maker for a porous Cavaliers team that is 28th in the league in defensive rating. Jordan can opt out of his more than $24MM salary for next season and become a free agent this summer.

Trade Rumors: Hernangomez, Bucks, Hawks, Raps

Word broke on Monday that Willy Hernangomez‘s representatives have asked the Knicks to trade the young center, though as Marc Berman and Zach Braziller of The New York Post note, that trade request was hardly shocking news. Hernangomez had publicly said several times already this season that he’d welcome a move to another team if that’s what it took for him to receive more playing time.

According to Ian Begley of ESPN, more than a dozen teams have expressed some level of interest in Hernangomez, and several of those clubs have put specific offers on the table for the Knicks. Still, New York’s front office won’t give Hernangomez away — the team is seeking a significant return for the 23-year-old, per Begley.

One source who has spoken to Knicks higher-ups expects the team to hang onto Hernangomez through the deadline unless a deal returns better long-term assets than the young big man, according to Berman and Braziller. Meanwhile, Begley notes that the Knicks are confident they’ll be able to reintegrate Hernangomez if they don’t trade him by Thursday.

As we wait to see what Hernangomez’s future holds, here are more trade-related notes and rumors from around the NBA:

  • Even after acquiring Tyler Zeller, the Bucks remain interested in Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, tweets Gery Woelfel of The Racine Journal Times. However, according to Woelfel, Milwaukee is unwilling to give up a key piece like Malcolm Brogdon, Khris Middleton, or Jabari Parker in exchange for Jordan.
  • While the Hawks are ready to deal, GM Travis Schlenk tells Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he doesn’t feel pressure to make moves, since the club has already stockpiled a number of extra draft picks. “We are willing to use our (cap) flexibility if we can get assets we want,” Schlenk said. “But I feel like we’ve done enough early on (that) we have the flexibility to sit back and not take too much (salary) on because we have so many picks. We don’t feel pressure to do anything because of that, but if there is an opportunity that makes sense for us we are certainly going to take a hard look at it.”
  • Michael Grange of Rogers Sportsnet (Twitter link) is hearing “more and more” that the Raptors will be minor players at the trade deadline, if they’re active at all. Toronto has no interest in Tyreke Evans and views RFA-to-be Rodney Hood as too pricey, says Grange.
  • Daryl Morey and the Rockets view the buyout period as just as likely to result in a roster addition as the trade market, per Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. The Rockets still may complete a deal this week, with an emergency backup guard atop their wish list, but they want to hang onto their 2020 first-round pick, says Feigen. Houston’s 2019 first-round pick can’t be moved, since the team has already traded its 2018 first-rounder.