DeAndre Jordan was already having another career year, but after Griffin went down, he’s risen to an higher level
DeAndre Jordan (left) has become “DeAndre The Giant” in Blake Griffin’s absence.
Add that to his performance last year and the season he was already enjoying, and Jordan has more than earned a max contract from someone as an unrestricted free agent.
But can the Clippers afford such a contract? And if not, could they live without Blake’s best friend in the franchise? Jordan will undoubtedly be at the center of speculation and atop many teams’ free agency lists this summer.
On the season, Jordan is averaging 11 points per, 13.9 and rebounds 2.3 per game on 72.5% shooting – which is absolutely outrageous. Since Griffin went down, however, he’s been positively dominant.
Just ask poor Marco Belinelli.
Not counting that first loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder (a sizable blowout probably affected by the team recovering from its star’s injury), he’s put up rebounding efforts of 18, 20 and 27 respectively. Had the San Antonio Spurs not employed their “Deck-A-DeAndre” strategy, he could very well have put together a string of three straight 20-point, 20-rebound games.
He’d have been one of three players since 1991-92 accomplish that feat. So, there’s that.
The longer Griffin sits, the more Jordan will stand to deserve this offseason. Turns out, DeAndre’s BFF might actually be doing him a solid by contracting that staph infection.
I’m joking, obviously, but this stretch of games probably seals a max deal for Jordan.
Given the injection of new TV money coming in 2016, $20-25 million per year for Jordan might actually be of great value.
Another direction Jordan might take is a shorter deal or an opt-out clause to open himself up for more of that TV money. He, Griffin and Chris Paul could hypothetically all be free agents in the same summer, allowing for ultimate flexibility if they fall short this or next year.
The other side of that coin, however is a potential departure for one of the Clippers’ big three. Rumors are apparently swirling of a rift developing between Griffin and Paul. Might we see Paul traded after this season to keep Griffin happy? I honestly highly doubt it and anticipate Jordan returning on a max deal.
One thing’s for sure, though. Jordan has more than earned it.
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