That won’t change by him exercising his $24,119,025 player option, either.
Even if Jordan opts in to the deal, the Clippers and Jordan would work together to find a trade out of Los Angeles, preferably well before the February trade deadline.
Jordan is reportedly trying to have his cake and eat it too, attempting to coordinate an opt-in-and-trade. At this point, that’d be ideal for all parties. The Clippers – who’ve already moved on from Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and J.J. Redick – want to start a new chapter, and they already traded for a replacement in Marcin Gortat. Jordan would get his money. And the other team, by virtue of participating in the deal, would get a good center it wants.
But finding a satisfactory trade between the Clippers and a Jordan-approved team won’t be simple.
Without an opt-in-and-trade set, Jordan opting in wouldn’t mean the Clippers automatically trade him. They might not find desirable return for the soon-to-turn-30 center with a high salary and only one season until unrestricted free agency. Merely the Clippers and Jordan agreeing a trade is generally in both their best interests doesn’t mean another team cooperates.
If an opt-in-and-trade can’t be reached by Friday’s deadline, I’d advise Jordan just to opt in. This is probably his last chance to earn such a high salary. Maybe he still gets traded, though he wouldn’t hold nearly as much say in the destination. Even if he spends the whole season in L.A., how bad could it be?
But if Jordan truly wants to pick his next team and no opt-in-and-trade is struck, opting out is the only way to ensure it.