The free agency of DeAndre Jordan, which is hardly over a day old, has felt infinite as the Clippers wait for the verdict from their longest-tenured player. With tons of players getting tons of money in an almost unprecedented first day of Free Agency where teams gave out over $1 billion in total contract values, the market is already beginning to dry, with a few names coming off of the board early.
The Clippers got in on the action themselves, signing veteran small forward Paul Pierce using their mini-MLE. They gave him 2 years guaranteed, with a third year as a team option, which is solid value considering that Kyle Singler got $25 million over 5 years, and Mike Dunleavy, Jr. got $15 million over 3.
Now, all the Clippers can do is make trades, re-sign their own free agents, and sign minimum deals. There will almost certainly need to be at least one or two significant minimum signings over the next couple of weeks, but those players will need to be sold on their role with the team, which is unclear until Jordan's decision is known. Also, any quality player who settles for the league minimum will likely wait--they can get the minimum any time, but first they'll bide their time to try and get a larger offer.
Deandre Jordan is, of course, the big domino here, impacting everything in a way no other off-season move the Clippers can make will. I expect that Jordan will agree to a deal to return to the Clippers either tomorrow night or this weekend--Paul Pierce likely wouldn't have signed on without him, and he's already met twice with the Mavericks without agreeing with them. The Lakers and Knicks don't have much of a chance at all to sign him, although the Lakers met with him last night and the Knicks will meet with him today.
At 10:00 am, Jordan will meet with the Knicks delegation to discuss what's likely to be a maximum offer and a role as the #2 offensive option (although it's unlikely that they will be true to that promise given the presence of Carmelo Anthony and their new rookie, Porzingis). Then, later on at 5:00 pm, he will hold his final meeting with the Clippers. There's not a lot to say between the two parties--he knows the roster, staff, facilities, and playbook better than anyone. It's just a matter of formality, and then Jordan will make his decision. We can only speculate how long it will take him, but I anticipate that if he does not commit to a team tonight, he will at least do so this weekend.
There's going to be a lot of rumors today. This is how the first meeting went, that's how Dallas supposedly feels about their meeting, and here's what the Clippers are pitching him on. Don't mind the reports: they're almost all spin from the various camps involved, playing mind games with each other in an attempt to influence the decision in their favor. Wait until we hear something concrete, and until then, we'll keep track of the other names the Clippers are pursuing, like Wesley Johnson, and talk about potential trade targets, such as Jason Thompson.