DeAndre Jordan’s future with the Los Angeles Clippers has been up in the air for months, as the veteran center’s contract possesses a player option for the 2018-19 campaign. If he opted in, he would be in line to make a little more than $24.1 million this season. If he decided not to opt in, Jordan would hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent.
Despite trade speculation last year, the Clippers kept Jordan and narrowly missed out on making the playoffs. Now the summer is here and Jordan has a decision to make. Jordan kept the basketball world waiting until the last day with a few hours to spare, but eventually, he decided to decline his option for next season.
Word of Jordan’s decision was brought to the masses by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reported Jordan’s pending free agency on Friday evening.
The ball is now in Jordan’s court, as he’s free to meet with teams at his leisure as of July 1 at midnight. Perhaps the Clippers will be on that list, but there have been some pretty strong rumblings that the Dallas Mavericks are going to make a pass at Jordan — letting bygones be bygones after the still bizarre 2014 free agency period where Jordan agreed to a deal with Dallas only to re-join the Clippers. Wojnarowski reported it’s likely that Jordan negotiates with the Mavericks and he could, indeed, join the team four years later.
Marc Stein of the New York Times reported on Friday that Jordan will be the Mavericks’ top free agent priority and noted the Mavs did not want to lose compensation in exchange for Jordan in a potential trade.
But basically everything right now is speculation regarding his future. Regardless, Jordan now skyrockets to the top of any list of free agents, because even though he turns 30 next month, he is still arguably the best center on the market not named DeMarcus Cousins.