This is about as surprising an announcement as the coming “LeBron James has decided to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers” one.
DeAndre Jordan is not going to be a Knick.
Jordan as been choosing between going home to Texas and joining the Mavericks or staying put with the Clippers for a while now, so Jordan’s people let the Knicks know where things stood, allowing them to get on with their Robin Lopez contract, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
The Knicks will now finalize their four-year, $54 million deal with Lopez (because of a league-wide moratorium, no contract can be signed until July 9). This is a quality pickup for the Knicks. It gives them a solid big man in the paint who can defend the rim, is strong on the offensive glass, and while he will not score much he stays in his lane on that end and basically only finishes near the rim. If Knicks fans are balking at the price tag for Lopez (an averaged of $13.5 million a year) remember that the salary cap is about to spike by about $40 million over two years — this deal is going to look like a steal in a couple years. Howard Beck of Bleacher Report put it well on Twitter.
Remember when the Knicks thought they had a chance with Marc Gasol?
How the feeble have fallen.
Not even David West – who was reportedly headed to New York – will sign with the Knicks. He makes that darn clear.
Bob Kravitz of WTHR:
This is the type of foresight Carmelo Anthony might lack. West doesn’t want to take a big payday and get stuck somewhere he doesn’t want to be.
West, via Kravitz:
“At this point in my career, it’s all about winning, and again, I don’t want to be in a position where we’re just fighting to make the playoffs, I want to be in a spot where we can legitimately taste the finals,” West said.
For what it’s worth, West also didn’t like the Pacers’ public case to convince Roy Hibbert to opt out. West, via Kravitz:
“That’s one thing where I wish they would have handled better was the situation with Roy,” West said. “I’ll be honest with you, that bothered me a little bit, and I told Roy that. I’m the type of guy who feels like we’re all in this fight together and I’m not designed in that way to put it all on one guy. That did rub me the wrong way. That threw me off. I started reading some of that stuff, I started thinking, ‘Whoaa.’ I just didn’t feel good about that. I told Roy that it bothered me, that he’s still my teammate.
Hibbert opted in, and West opted out.
Now, West is seeking greener pastures. He’s obviously serious about winning over money – he opted out of $12.6 million – and he should have his pick of teams. Anyone should want West on a minimum contract, and most contenders (at least the ones not over the apron) should like him on a bi-annual exception. Someone might even give him the mid-level exception.
The bigger challenge is finding a contender where West would play a reasonably large role.
Are the Raptors, with DeMarre Carroll in the fold, good enough? Would a minimum salary convince West to back up Blake Griffin on the Clippers? How about West signing for less than Marreese Speights and allowing the Warriors to trade Speights?
West will have options. The less money he’s willing to take, the more teams that will pursue him.
Would Paul Pierce agree to this if DeAndre Jordan were leaving town? Maybe, but it seems far less likely.
Paul Pierce has decided to leave the red, white, and blue of our nation’s capital for the red, white, and blue of a team on the other coast — the one in his hometown of Los Angeles.
He is going to reunite with his old coach Doc Rivers and try to lead the Los Angeles Clippers over the hump, something first reported by Dan Woike of the Orange County Register:
That works out to basically $10 million over the three years, and the third year is a team option. A couple days ago it seemed Pierce — the 10-time All-Star and NBA champion in Boston — did not want to give the Clippers a discount, that he was leaning toward staying a Wizard. However, the pull of his home town proved too much.
The Clippers have been looking to upgrade at the three this off-season. They shipped out Matt Barnes but brought in Lance Stephenson, but Rivers said he hoped to bring Stephenson off the bench. This signing allows them to do that, although Stephenson may play more minutes than Pierce.
Pierce turns 38 next season but his crafty, veteran game that ages well. He averaged 11.9 points a game and shot 38.9 percent from three last season. The challenge is that he had more success playing at the four, while the Clippers have Blake Griffin at the four and would use Pierce more at the three. That spot has been a challenge to him in recent seasons, particularly defensively.
Still, the Clippers think they got a guy who can knock down big shots in big moments — “I called game.” The Clippers have that in Chris Paul but wanted more veteran presence.
But if Jordan bolts, this move could be moot. Which is why it seems Pierce might know something.
The Los Angeles Clippers want their shot and believe they have a chance. The Celtics and a handful of other teams would like the chance for a sit down.
But in the end, Paul Pierce may well remain a Washington Wizard.
Pierce has officially opted out and become a free agent, but the Wizards like their chances, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.
Pierce can still help a team, despite turning 38 next season. He has a crafty, veteran game that ages well — he averaged 11.9 points a game and shot 38.9 percent from three last season. He’s still relatively efficient on offense, but he’s more of a concern on the other end of the court.
The Wizards had success last season, particularly in the playoffs, with Pierce at the four. The Clippers have Blake Griffin at the four and would use Pierce more at the three, which has not been as kind to him in recent seasons. That and the fact he likes John Wall and Bradley Beal plays in the Wizards favor as well. As for the Clippers, that is a different team if DeAndre Jordan chooses to return home to Texas.
Pierce likely isn’t going to make a snap decision, which is fine as the Wizards may feel like time is on their side.
DeAndre Jordan is an unrestricted free agent, and while he’s always been expected to meet with other teams, it’s been believed that the Clippers, armed with an extra year and an additional $27 million that only they can offer, remained the frontrunners to re-sign him.
But with free agency set to kick off at midnight Eastern on Wednesday, it’s now being reported that L.A. has no better than a 50-50 chance of retaining Jordan’s services.
Chris Broussard of ESPN.com:
Free agent DeAndre Jordan is likely looking to sign a four-year deal that allows him to opt out after three seasons, which would nullify the Los Angeles Clippers’ advantage in keeping the center, sources told ESPN on Tuesday.
The Clippers could offer Jordan a deal that includes a fifth year worth $27 million. …
Sources had told ESPN.com earlier this week that the Mavericks are considered the likeliest team to persuade Jordan to leave the Clippers, and a source close to the situation told ESPN on Tuesday that it’s “50/50” between the two teams.
Also included in this report is the idea that Jordan is tired of being a third wheel behind Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. If that is a factor, then going to Dallas, the Lakers or the Knicks would all be better options.
But the biggest part of this may be the fact that Jordan is reportedly seeking to sign a shorter deal now, to once again hit free agency and then sign another long-term contract to maximize his earning potential under the increased salary cap.
That negates the inherent advantage the Clippers had in re-signing him to a five-year max, but it sounds as though other issues — like wanting to be recognized as a team’s primary star, or perhaps just wanting to be in a more pleasant situation — may take priority in his decision-making process.