“They were talking about trading me for three years, so I don’t really care about it anymore,” Jordan said. “If it happens, it happens.
“I just want to be somewhere I’m wanted. If it’s here, it’s here. If it’s not, then, hey, it’s a business.”
Do you feel wanted by the Clippers?
Jordan looked around for nine seconds before answering.
“What do you think?” he said.
I contemplated for a moment then answered honestly: “I don’t know.”
“Me neither,” Jordan replied immediately.
He sounds much more upbeat now.
Jordan, via Michael Lee of Yahoo Sports:
“I’m here and that’s what I’m focused on,” Jordan told Yahoo Sports. “I’m excited. Like I told somebody the other day, I hope I can play another 10 years here. That’s what I’m focused on now.”
The unspoken subtext, probably: If they pay me.
The Clippers have repeatedly put Jordan in position to succeed (more so when Chris Paul was throwing him lobs). Jordan has grown into a multi-time All-NBAer. Playing in L.A. has also raised his profile.
I can absolutely believe Jordan – who holds a $24,119,025 player option for next season – hopes the Clippers will offer him a contract he finds suitable.
But Jordan will turn 30 next summer, and he’s a traditional center in the league deemphasizing those. Jordan’s defensive versatility appears to be waning with his athleticism. The Clippers are in the midst of a direction change, and it’s unclear how Jordan fits.
What if the Clippers don’t offer him as much money as he wants? Where will his excitement for the franchise be then?
This sounds conditional. It’ll get sorted out this offseason or next.
However, if Jordan is passionate and focused now, he’s more likely to help the Clippers into the playoffs, which would make them more likely to reward him. We won’t get resolution yet, but the process of determining Jordan’s future in L.A. is well underway.