DeAndre Jordan led the league in rebounding and field goal percentage last season, and was a key component of a Clippers starting lineup that was good enough to lead the league in offensive efficiency.
Jordan anchored the defense, too, and his two-way skill set (free throws aside) is what makes him so valuable in Los Angeles.
He’s an unrestricted free agent this summer, and while Doc Rivers has made it clear that the Clippers will offer him the five-year max contract that no one else can to re-sign, Jordan has made it known that he’ll look around in free agency, just to see if a better situation may catch his eye.
Now, we may have an indication as to the reason why.
The season ended with Rivers denying reports Jordan and Chris Paul had a beef with each other.
But other NBA officials not authorized to speak publicly on the matter said there indeed is a rift between Jordan and Paul.
The officials said Jordan wants to be more involved in the offense and wants to be an All-Star, and he’s not sure whether those things can happen on the Clippers with All-Stars Paul and Blake Griffin.
Paul is one of the game’s most fiery competitors, on par with Kobe Bryant in terms of his on-court intensity and his ability to push teammates to extremes behind the scenes.
This is a quality you want in one of your team’s leaders as a fan, but as a teammate who doesn’t possess quite that same level of intensity, the constant grind can wear thin over the 82-game regular season.
That may be one reason Jordan is considering his options, which are expected to include meetings with the Lakers, Mavericks, Knicks and Bucks once the July 1 free agency period is upon us. But he can make the most money by re-upping in Los Angeles, if he believes he can co-exist with Paul for the foreseeable future.