The Clippers need to re-sign DeAndre Jordan.
If they don’t, they’ll likely have only the mid-level exception to find a replacement. For perspective, that netted them Spencer Hawes last season.
That puts pressure on the Clippers. They can offer Jordan more money and, in most cases, a better team.
Potentially not helping? Chris Paul.
Bill Reiter of Fox Sports:
Paul better evaluate whether this is a grudge worth holding – because Jordan has the power here. If he leaves, the Clippers are stuck.
It’d be a shame to waste a season in Paul’s and Blake Griffin’s prime. The Clippers would still probably make the playoffs next season, but they’d be hard-pressed to contend for a title without Jordan. (And make no mistake: Despite their Game 7 loss yesterday, they were among the teams legitimately competing for the 2015 championship.)
Then, when the salary cap jumps in 2016, they could seriously look into upgrading the roster around Paul and Griffin. Playing with those stars will appeal to free agents, but many teams will have flexibility. It’s far from guaranteed the Clippers come out ahead of their competition – and that’d be following a near-certain step back next season.
Winning isn’t everything, but Paul should be going to every length he finds reasonable to make Jordan feel comfortable with him and the Clippers.