Tonight, free agent center, DeAndre Jordan, is expected to make his decision official. Which team will he be suiting up for?
The Los Angeles Clippers drafted the free agent center in the 2nd round in 2008. Jordan came out of Texas A&M, so it was evident why he made a verbal agreement with the Dallas Mavericks. Especially, since there were rumors swirling for awhile about having a rocky relationship with star point guard, Chris Paul. Whether it was about practicing free throws, or clashing personalities in general, you have to think that everything plays a factor in a big decision like this.
Today’s craze: Jordan having second doubts, he spoke to Blake Griffin, called Doc Rivers, and met with several members of the Clippers today (players, coach, and owner).
That leads me to pose the question, did Jordan want all of this love and headlines all along? His agent has done a great job for the DeAndre Jordan brand since midnight struck on July 1.
No, there is nothing that the Mavericks can do if Jordan were to go back on his word. This isn’t the first time something like this may be happening, and probably won’t be the last. Regardless of his true intentions, Jordan is feeling the love from the only pro team he’s played for in 7 seasons, and from a team in his home state where his family resides. Both teams are offering a maximum contract, Lob City 5 years, Big D 4 years, both at $20 million per season.
The rising star, 26, will continue to place in Defensive Player of the Year voting, and was actually my vote to win it last season. What exactly does he do so well on the floor?
- Rim and paint protector
- Pick & Roll defender
- Pick & Roll slasher
- Strong finisher at the rim
- High-percentage scorer
In 2014-2015, Jordan averaged: 11.5 points on 71% shooting, 15 rebounds, 2.2 blocks, in 34.4 minutes.
For the most part, his rebounding has increased every year, but more importantly, his scoring has improved every season as well. The double-double machine runs up and down the floor as well as any big man in the game.
I don’t buy his 40% rate from the charity stripe as the end of the world. I could go on and on about this, but in short: A good defensive team holds opponents between 30-40% shooting. So, if you’re stopping someone 3/10 times while they hack Jordan and send him to the line 10/10 possessions, on average that’s 6-4 in favor of the opponents. You can’t shoot worse than he has in his career. You have to be talented and motivated as a 2nd round pick turned himself into an All-Defensive Team defender, to improve your game that includes his scoring. Can’t you see him bumping up his stroke like I do?
Not to bore you with too many stats, but in the midst of the suspense and his decision, here’s some more numbers on why this is my favorite (not quite the best yet) center in the league:
- Per 48 minutes, he ranks 6th in win shares
- Overall, 5th and 10th in win shares the past 2 seasons
- Ranks 7th and 8th in the past 2 seasons in defensive rating
- 9th in offensive win shares
- 1st and 3rd in defensive win shares the past 2 seasons
When it comes to win shares, Jordan ranks above other bigs like Al Horford, Tyson Chandler, and Brooke Lopez. Chandler has played for some good teams, a championship team even, and Horford did last season for the top-seeded Hawks. Obviously, the Clippers have been a playoff team ever since CP3 arrived in 2011 (Jordan’s 5th season).
So, Doc Rivers has to be the total package as a head coach and general manager, but he’s been put on blast for his GM duties. The Clippers are represented by Rivers, best friend Blake Griffin, J.J. Redick (who was already staying down the road from Jordan in Houston), CP3 left his vacation and a banana boat (with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Carmelo Anthony), newly-signed Paul Pierce (verbal agreement), and owner Steve Ballmer.
Mark Cuban is trying to sell a championship on his finger and a future Hall of Famer in Dirk Nowitzki, but the roster looks slim. Maybe part of the plan is making a run at Kevin Durant next offseason. Actually, you know it’s part of the pitch, it has to be with the current roster. Chandler Parsons nearly pulled a second big man out of Los Angeles, first being Dwight Howard (from the Lakers to the Rockets) and now Jordan (verbally).
Jordan ignited a hilarious emoji battle betweens the Clips and Mavs, that stumbled into Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan posting trophies on Twitter! This is great publicity here, maybe not so much for the league and their offseason rule.
The Clippers are said to not even leave Jordan’s place, so that may mean that Cuban, Parsons, or whoever else shows up from the Mavericks, are all in the same room looking at the tallest dude in the room. Supposedly, Jordan is reportedly ignoring all communication attempts made by Cuban and Parsons. Like it or not, it could have been the plan all along, LeBron James-like. If it wasn’t, the big fella gets all of this appreciation and big money wherever he chooses. Good job agent, and I am genuinely interested in watching his offense grow in an expanded role.