Clippers match four-year, $43 million offer sheet for DeAndre Jordan: Thumbs down
It was a worse move by Golden State to sign Jordan to this offer sheet, but it is by no means a good idea for the Clippers to match. Obviously, this is colored by my feelings on Jordan -- I don't see him as any kind of a star in the making, just a dunks-and-little-else guy who has the requisite size and athleticism for an NBA center. You don't pay $43 million (with a trade kicker -- which would increase the salary should the Clippers deal him -- in case you ever want to get rid of him) for a guy like that.
You might argue that the Clippers "need" a center and that centers can be hard to come by, but L.A.'s home market gives them a leg up in any free-agent chase. The Clippers could have easily played this season with another center on a one-year deal (like, oh, say, current Clipper Chris Kaman), amnestied Mo Williams in July and been $33 million under the cap next season.
You know why that matters? Because the NBA seems determined to keep Chris Paul in New Orleans all season, and the Magic seem equally determined to keep Dwight Howard in Orlando. So they may both be unrestricted free agents after the season, and the Clips will have the space to sign both. Can you say "Superfriends 2.0"?
Even if that dream scenario didn't work out, the Clippers dramatically reduced their options and flexibility for a loaded offseason crop, all to overpay a guy they didn't especially need. While this wasn't quite as bad as the Caron Butler deal, it's unfortunate that L.A. used its rare free-agent splurge so unproductively.
The Clippers will be better in spite of themselves, because a team with Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon isn't going to lose 50 games again, but were it not for the winning amnesty bid for Chauncey Billups, this would have been a wasted offseason for the Clips.