The Los Angeles Clippers — currently sitting at 8-14 at the 10th spot in the Western Conference — are looking for any sort of meaning to the season with over half the starting lineup out with injuries. And major ones, too. Patrick Beverley is out for the season. Blake Griffin is out for months.
Simply put, this team isn’t going anywhere for a while. So it’s time to prepare; because if not, they’re preparing to fail. In a grander scheme. Let’s take a look at a few things surround the team’s biggest and only must-trade asset: DeAndre Jordan.
Writing on the wall
Here’s the thing — players don’t hire agents to get them what they’d already be getting. A first-tier player doesn’t need an agent to secure the maximum contract for a team, for example. Players hire agents to get them more, or get them out of a situation.
DeAndre Jordan has a player option for next season, meaning he’ll more than likely become a free agent after this current one. And not so coincidentally, Jordan just hired an agent for the first time in two years — a clear sign he’s on his way out. Jordan signed with Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports Management, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
And Jordan needs to be off this ship as soon as possible.
Given the injury-riddled start to the season the Clippers have had, it’s no surprise recent reports indicated the team has ‘put out feelers’ to multiple teams on a potential DeAndre Jordan trade.
Clippers must trade DeAndre Jordan
Given Jordan’s immediate impact on any team’s defense, the Clippers actually do have a valuable trade piece on hand.
Teams like the Washing Wizards — for a package of Marcin Gortant, Kelly Oubre Jr., and Jason Smith — or Cleveland Cavaliers — for the 2018 first round pick, Tristan Thompson and Iman Shumpert — or the Toronto Raptors — for a package of Jonas Valanciunas, Jakob Poeltl, and one of the Raptors’ emerging wings — have been rumored trade partners.
Doc remains the coach
According to a recent report, Doc’s job as the head coach seems to be safe.
Sam Amick of USA Today recently reported:
Three people with knowledge of the situation say Rivers is likely safe for this season, with his championship resume still held in high regard and the injuries to four of five opening-night starters having made it unfair – in Ballmer’s eyes – to accurately judge his coaching performance this season. Point guard Patrick Beverley (knee surgery last month) is out for the season, while guard Milos Teodosic (out since the second game with plantar fasciitis in his left foot) and forward Danilo Gallinari (13 games missed with a left glute injury) are likely to return soon.