DeAndre Jordan is on the trade market, or, at least, the Clippers are having discussions about the possibility of trading him. Reports came out earlier in the week that after their 9-game losing streak the Clippers had multiple teams reach out about the star center.
Jordan finding his way to the trade market should come as little surprise. The Clippers don’t have much in the way of assets and Blake Griffin is essentially untouchable for now after his max deal got signed this summer, which leaves Jordan and his $24 million player option for next year as the most desirable trade chip they have.
The problem is the matter of whether Jordan’s value on the market and what the Clippers think his value should be match up. Without Chris Paul, Jordan’s productivity and efficiency have taken a hit, but he’s still an intriguing piece as a rebounder and defender. He also might be a one-year rental for whatever team trades for him, which always mucks up a player’s worth (see: George, Paul).
There’s also the issue of there not being many teams that have a need for Jordan or the kind of contracts and assets to make a deal happen. I tried to come up with trades involving Jordan, and only four teams seemed to have the need and the kind of contracts to possibly make it happen. Among those four teams are the Cavaliers, who could make a package involving Tristan Thompson and, likely, Iman Shumpert (for salary purposes) work.
According to Cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon, the Cavaliers would have some interest in that as a trade package, depending on what else the Clippers would ask for.
A league source believes this move, Jordan for Thompson, is one the Cavs would consider. How the Brooklyn pick figured in remains to be seen (Cleveland also has its own No. 1 pick), but if the Cavs felt Jordan was the only piece missing for them to take down the Warriors they’d have to consider this.
The trade package a fan asked Vardon about involved the 2018 Brooklyn pick, but it’d seem to be a stunning move for Cleveland to give that up for Jordan when he could possibly walk. As I wrote when I initially brought up this as a possible trade, I don’t really love the deal, but you can see how both sides could talk themselves into it.
A first round pick and Thompson would be a pretty decent get for the Clippers, who get a solid replacement for Jordan on a cheaper, longer term deal and a future asset as they continue building around Griffin in a post-Chris Paul world. The Cavs get a rim protector, something they desperately need, and Jordan and Isaiah Thomas in the pick-and-roll could be a nice combination.
The issue for Cleveland is whether they think Jordan will stay long term (or if they want to pay him long term) and whether Jordan does anything to help them against Golden State. The answer to the latter question is probably no, considering how the Warriors abuse teams with slower centers, but if the Cavs feel they need to make a splash and shake things up, this could certainly be an opportunity to do so.