DeAndre Jordan has concluded his meetings with his free agency suitors and all that is left is for him to make his decision. No one can accuse DeAndre or shortcutting the due diligence process. Jordan and his people held meetings with the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers on July 1, the first day of free agency, and then with the New York Knicks and his current team, the Los Angeles Clippers today, July 2. And pretty much each of those meetings was in the three to four hour range.
(Question: do the Clippers have the advantage in presenting last, or is it a disadvantage after DJ has already listened to more or less the same stuff for something like a dozen hours?)
Reports from the Clippers meeting were that it was "professional" and "organized" and "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" -- just as you'd expect from Doc Rivers and Steve Ballmer.
And the word out there is that this is still a toss up.
Yahoo Source: After Clippers meeting, DeAndre Jordan remains "truly 50-50" and "torn" on choice between Mavs and Clippers. Decision looms.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 3, 2015
I've already outlined all the reasons that I feel like this ought to be a fairly easy decision for DeAndre, but none of that matters now. Now, we wait.
Patrick O'Neal asked me earlier today on the Fred Roggin Show what the Clippers do if they lose Jordan -- what is the backup plan? And the answer is, there is no backup plan -- not since Tyson Chandler went to Phoenix. If Jordan leaves L.A. the Clippers don't have the assets to replace him this season -- they'll just have to make due. I mean, sure, they'll sign a tall person, and that person could turn out to be the next Hassan Whiteside. But more than likely, he will turn out to be the next Robert Swift. As it happens, I think a small ball lineup with Blake Griffin at the five could be pretty good in the current NBA, but without Jordan the Clippers would be forced to play one way, not to mention that a thin bench would get thinner. They'd still be a playoff team, but not a serious contender.
About the only good news is that if they avoided adding any long term contracts they could be a major player in free agency next summer, when a guy named Kevin Durant will hit the market.
But that's not what anyone wants to think about now. The Clippers of the last two seasons seem to be within an adjustment here or there, or maybe an extra break or two, of winning a title. So what we want now is to retain the core that has shown so much promise and look for some tweaks.
So we wait.