For the first time in the past couples years, DeAndre Jordan has an agent—a change that could spell the end to his time with the Los Angeles Clippers.
According to ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Jordan has hired Jeff Schwartz to represent him, a move that comes in advance of his free agency (player option), but also as he tries to sort out his future with the slumping Clippers:
Jordan, 29, has signed with Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports Management, sources said, who will help navigate the processes expected to determine Jordan’s future with the Clippers.
The franchise’s devastating batch of injuries and an 8-14 start to the season has inspired rival teams to start reaching out to the Clippers front office on the availability of Jordan, league sources told ESPN.
The hiring of an agent can be a facilitator for teams wondering whether Jordan would have interest in signing with them long term should they trade significant assets to the Clippers to acquire him.
Jordan needed an agent regardless of what was happening with the Clippers. Players can navigate free agency on their own, but the task is easier, in theory, with someone in your corner gauging the market and advising you on what to do. This holds especially true for Jordan, who owns a $24.1 million player option and would be entering free agency at a time when the league is still reeling from 2016’s spending craze and placing lower premiums on non-unicorn 5s.
The timing of this hire, however, is significant. Jordan could have waited a few months before making a decision, giving his new representation plenty of time to figure out his summer. Adding one now, amid a flurry of rumors, suggests he’s trying to expedite clarity. As for whether that includes sending backchannel messages to interested trade suitors or hashing out a longer-term understanding with the Clippers, we’ll have to wait and see.