Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan can hit unrestricted free agency next summer, leaving the team in an interesting position moving forward.
By waiving his player option for the 2018-19 season, Jordan can become a free agent next offseason and sign with any team he chooses to. While Jordan is eligible to receive a contract extension from the Clippers, Zach Lowe of ESPN reports those discussions have stalled.
Jordan would potentially earn less money by agreeing to a contract extension with Clippers versus signing a new contract with the team next summer. He and the team have publicly stated they’d love to stay together for the future, but it will likely come down to how much money Jordan will seek for his next contract.
The Clippers have reportedly explored trades involving Jordan, but nothing serious came from those discussions. The team seems unsure of what to do with Jordan for the time being. If he demands a contract north of $25 million per season, the team could have between $60-70 million tied up in Jordan and Blake Griffin and it then would become difficult to sign a top-tier player in free agency.
At this point, it sounds like the Clippers may be better off moving on from Jordan and building around Griffin. The team would stay flexible with their cap situation and could convince a top player in free agency to play with Griffin. It doesn’t sound like Jordan would be willing to offer a huge discount to the Clippers as he may want a max contract of $35 million.
If the Clippers decide against paying him a near-max deal, Jordan could likely find that deal elsewhere. He was named an All-Star last season after averaging 12.7 points, 13.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game.
Regardless of what ultimately happens, this season could be the turning point for the Clippers moving forward.