From the Contra Costa Times’ Marcus Thompson:
The Warriors are preparing an offer sheet for Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, according to a team source. The Warriors must have the space under the cap to cover the first year of the deal in order to make the offer. Don’t yet know how much the offer will be. But …
If the Warriors (and this is me just thinking out loud now) are going to offer Jordan a double-figure salary in the first year of the deal, they will likely have to waive guard Charlie Bell via amnesty.
Considering that the Warriors would be paying more than $9 million a year to a player that averaged 7.1 points per game last season and can’t score in the post, make a jumper, or make more than half of his free throws, this deal might seem a bit crazy.
However, look at the starting centers of the 4 teams that played in the Conference Finals last season:
– Tyson Chandler
– Joel Anthony
– Joakim Noah
– Kendrick Perkins
Those are four very good defensive players who protect the rim, and, with the exception of Anthony, are efficient, low-usage offensive players. Perkins isn’t as good offensively as Chandler or Noah, and Noah’s passing and ball-handling make him a different kind of offensive threat, but none of those players have reliable mid-range jumpers or refined post games. A possible Causation/Correlation error is certainly worth mentioning here, but the point is that a “traditional” post-up center no longer seems to be a requirement for on-court greatness.
Jordan’s free throw struggles are certainly a concern (although he’d somehow be a significant upgrade over Andris Biedrins at the line), but he protects the rim, is a ridiculous athlete who makes himself available for crushing dunks, and converted on nearly 70% of his shots last season. Those are the kind of centers the best teams in the NBA currently employ, and that may well make DeAndre Jordan worth $10 million.
For the Warriors, though, this is a bit strange. The team is only a year removed from taking Ekpe Udoh with the 6th overall pick in the draft, and while Udoh shot 43.7% from the floor in his rookie season instead of a DeAndre-like conversion rate, he’s a great defensive prospect, and it would seem strange for the Warriors to spend so much money on a player whose skills seem to have a lot of overlap with one of their best young prospects’, but centers like Jordan are becoming more and more valuable, and the Warriors’ new owners seem extremely eager to make a splash this off-season.