At least one member of the Los Angeles Clippers is hoping DeAndre Jordan doesn’t get trade this season or leave in free agency: Blake Griffin.
As the All-Star forward told The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears:
How are you taking teammate DeAndre Jordan’s pending free-agency situation?
This is his second time being in this situation. Before that he was a restricted free agent. Each time I’ve told him the same thing. He knows and he’ll know the exact same thing about how I feel about him and how much we want him to be here, to be a Clipper for life.
But at the end of the day, he has a family and he has to make the decision that is best for him. Whatever that is, I’ll support him. He’ll know how much we want him here.
Griffin needn’t worry, it seems, about Jordan going anywhere for the time being. The Clippers have played their way back within striking distance the Western Conference’s playoff bubble, and ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski previously said they haven’t received any no-brainer offers from parties interested in poaching Jordan.
Skip ahead to this summer, assuming Jordan isn’t moved before then, and the party changes. He owns a $24.1 million player option most expect him to decline. He won’t match that per-year money on the open market, not with the league being oversaturated in non-unicorn bigs, but he should be able to net one last semi-lucrative three- or four-year deal that pays him more in the aggregate.
And it’s at that point the Clippers must decide whether to pay a 30-year-old Jordan while also footing the bills for Griffin and Danilo Gallinari. If they make the postseason this year, perhaps that choice becomes a bit easier. But if they whiff on the playoffs or fail to put up the slightest fight in a first-round series, Jordan may quickly price himself out of Los Angeles, bringing an end to Griffin’s dream of them both remaining Clippers lifers.