The Clippers have made their position clear: This is not a fire sale, owner Steve Ballmer is not looking to tank and bottom out, but if you come with a legit offer they will listen to trades for Lou Williams, DeAndre Jordan, and anyone else on the roster.
Portland has looked stuck in the second half of the West, making the playoffs but not a real threat to the elite of the conference, and they want to step up.
So Portland has called the Clippers and talked about a DeAndre Jordan trade, but nothing is currently close to happening, reports Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times.
The Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers have discussed a trade involving L.A. center DeAndre Jordan but a formal offer was never made, according to NBA officials who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
The Clippers have been seeking a first-round draft pick, financial flexibility and young players in return for Jordan, according to the executives.
Jordan would be an upgrade at the five for Portland, providing a strong defensive presence in the paint, rebounding, and a pick-and-roll partner for Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.
Just don’t expect it to happen. It’s hard to see how this deal comes together, and a lot of other teams (Cleveland, Milwaukee, Miami, Orlando) have expressed some level of interest in Jordan.
Portland’s first question: Would Jordan agree to either opt into the last year of his deal or say he’d be predisposed to re-sign with the Portland? The Blazers don’t want to do this deal as a half-season rental, they would want to keep Jordan around. Executives with teams I’ve spoken to say Jordan almost certainly will pick up his option (although most think he should), and it’s not clear if DJ would want to stick around in Portland.
More importantly, it’s hard to make the numbers pencil out between Los Angeles and Portland. Jordan makes $22.6 million this season, and the Clippers don’t want to take back long-term salary in this trade (no deals that mess with the summer of 2019 in particular). The problem is all of Portland’s big-money players that could make this deal easy are still locked up for three or four years (Evan Turner or Meyers Leonard, for example). The teams could try to fashion a trade around Ed Davis, Zach Collins, Jusuf Nurkic but it would take multiple other players and picks to get it done, and then the Clippers would have t clear out roster spots or buy guys out. It’s not impossible to do, but it gets complex, and complex deals are far less likely to get done.
Jordan may well be on the move at the deadline, and Portland could use him, but this is a hard deal to put together.