Despite racing out to the 3-1 series lead over the Houston Rockets, the Los Angeles Clippers dropped three in a row and currently find themselves with many questions after another second round exit. Their biggest concern in the off-season centers around their defensive big man DeAndre Jordan who will become an unrestricted free agent.
Jordan is expected to garner a max contract and many teams would love to have a rim-protecter of his caliber on their roster. As has been hinted and indicated months, the Los Angeles Lakers will be one of those teams wanting to bring Jordan away from the Clippers, per ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne:
The Dallas Mavericks are expected to make a strong push for Jordan, who would essentially be a younger version of the Mavs’ current defensive anchor Tyson Chandler. The Lakers would likewise love to steal Jordan away from their Staples Center rival.
The Clippers can offer Jordan a five-year, $108 million contract while other teams are limited to four-year deals and less money. If the salary amount were the only issue, the Clippers clearly have an advantage. However, the Clippers will need to figure out of he is worth the price tag.
Because of other binding contracts, bringing back Jordan would severely limit what else the Clippers can do in re-tooling their roster. Although the Clippers have found recent regular season success with their Chris Paul-Blake Griffin-Jordan trio, the team has faltered in the playoffs.
People around the league believe the Clippers will offer Jordan the max, but it remains to be seen where Jordan will actually play for next season. The Lakers have a desperate need for him and would fit right into Byron Scott’s defensive plans. Jordan would give the Lakers a reliable rim-protector that the team would love to build its defense around.