Dec 6, 2011, 11:19 AM EDT
Yup, that lockout really got NBA owners to rein in their spending.
The Los Angeles Clippers wanted to keep center DeAndre Jordan — he’s part of their young and high-flying core — and have offered him a five year, $40 million deal, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo on twitter.
But he also says it is expected Jordan will sign an offer sheet with another team for more. The Clippers have the rights to match any offer. There are a number of teams with cap space who need a center (we’re looking at you, Pacers) who may make that offer. The Clippers likely would match that offer — Blake Griffin told ProBasketballTalk yesterday he wants to see Jordan back, that he is key to the team’s future. (If the Clippers bring back Jordan, Chris Kaman is likely on his way out via trae.
Jordan is a good but raw player who gave the Clippers 7.1 points and 7.2 points per game last season. He is a good shot blocker and rebounder, but his offensive game drops off when he gets more than five feet from the basket. He’s young (23) with a lot of room to grow, but how much are you willing to pay to see how he develops?
Well, at least $40 million and maybe more, apparently.
Consider this a reminder that for all the complaining the NBA owners did about market size and the system issues throughout the lockout, what they really wanted in a labor deal was a way to protect themselves from themselves. But that only goes so far.