The Clippers have been attempting in recent days to move DeAndre Jordan, seeking a return asset that would be a suitable centerpiece in a potential Paul George trade. According to reports, the Clippers originally contacted the Phoenix Suns regarding a return of Tyson Chandler and the 4th overall pick, but the Suns were not interested.
Chandler is an obvious choice to replace DeAndre Jordan, as he plays a similar style, is a former Chris Paul teammate, and is available for next-to-nothing from the rebuilding Suns. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to paint him as a target.
However, while finding an adequate center to take Jordan’s spot in the starting lineup is important, the key asset is the 4th overall pick, which would likely be enough to top the Lakers’ offer and pry star wing Paul George away from the Indiana Pacers. However, DeAndre doesn’t fit Phoenix’s timeline, and with just one year on his contract there are obvious concerns about re-signing him.
Among other teams that the Clippers have contacted are the Detroit Pistons, Brian Windhorst shared on today’s episode of The Jump. The Pistons currently have Andre Drummond at center, but Jordan would be an upgrade as Stan Van Gundy seeks to return the Pistons to the playoffs and protect his dual role as head coach and director of basketball operations. If Van Gundy’s interest is sufficient, he could be willing to give up the 12th overall pick along with Drummond.
What is unclear is whether the 12th pick would be enough for the Indiana Pacers. It’s possible that it would be, but it’s also possible that additional dealing would be necessary. One interesting possibility would be returning to the negotiating table with the Suns, where Drummond’s age (23) and contract status (3 years plus a player option remaining) make him a better fit than Jordan. Phoenix would also only have to move back in the lottery to get him, rather than trading out entirely for Jordan. The Clippers could also sweeten the deal for Phoenix by taking back Brandon Knight’s contract, which the Suns have been looking to get out of.
Imagine something like this:
Clippers lose: Deandre Jordan, Jamal Crawford
Clippers get: Tyson Chandler, Brandon Knight, Pick 4
Pistons lose: Andre Drummond, Pick 12
Pistons get: DeAndre Jordan
Suns lose: Tyson Chandler, Brandon Knight, Pick 4
Suns get: Andre Drummond, Jamal Crawford, Pick 12
Clippers get: Paul George
Pacers get: Austin Rivers, Pick 4, Wesley Johnson
It’s far from a certain possibility, as all three teams involved could potentially balk, but it’s another option that the Clippers could be exploring as they attempt to add a big-time wing scorer this summer.