It’s not time for the Los Angeles Clippers to trade star big man DeAndre Jordan…at least not yet.
DeAndre Jordan has been one of the hottest names in the NBA trade rumor mill early on this season. Due to the Los Angeles Clippers’ rough start, his name has come up often in rumors. Despite all the buzz surrounding Jordan, the Clippers should not trade their star center just yet.
It has been yet another rough season for the Clippers from an injury perspective. Blake Griffin once again missed a chunk of games due to an injury, but is back on the court. L.A. has also seen Patrick Beverley, Milos Teodosic, Danilo Gallinari and Austin Rivers struggle with nagging injuries.
Even with all of the injury woes, the Clippers have won six of their last seven games and are back in playoff contention with a 17-19 record.
They may not have had the start that they were hoping for, but that was to be expected even before the injury bug bit. Chris Paul was traded in the offseason, which was going to take some time to get used to. It seems that the team is finally jelling and ready to play to its full potential.
Jordan has been a big part of the Clippers’ success in recent weeks and has had a solid season overall. He has averaged 11.1 points per game to go along with 15.1 rebounds and over a block per game. His scoring average hasn’t been as high as some would like, but the defensive impact he makes overall is too great to lose.
Why the Clippers shouldn’t trade Jordan
Trading Jordan would impact the Clippers negatively in many areas. Rebounding would take a major dive, while the rim protection would become nearly nonexistent.
Jordan has been one of the league’s elite rim protectors throughout his career, averaging 1.8 blocks per game throughout his 10 seasons in Los Angeles. Even this season, despite the low block average, Jordan has been able to alter shots and bail out the perimeter defenders when their man has gotten past them.
Doc Rivers may not have the strong championship contender from the start he had in years past with Paul, Griffin and Jordan forming a Big Three, but the Clippers are finding their groove. Breaking up the core would immediately ruin any chance at a postseason run down the stretch.
L.A. has put together a very talented roster even with the loss of Paul. It was able to bring in talented rotation players like Lou Williams, Milos Teodosic, Sam Dekker and Gallinari. They may not have “star power” like Paul had, but the team as a whole has the potential to be very deadly in the postseason if they can remain healthy.
If the Clippers were to trade Jordan, it would signal a rebuild in Los Angeles. That is something that Griffin, who signed a massive five-year, $173 million contract in the offseason, might not want to stick around to be a part of. Making Griffin unhappy by trading Jordan isn’t a road that the Clippers want to go down at this point.
What is the alternative?
Quite simply, the Clippers must keep their core intact and ride out the rest of the season. If they are unable to continue playing quality basketball over the next few weeks, perhaps Rivers should explore the trade market for Jordan right before the trade deadline.
Giving up on the season this early would be a big mistake for Los Angeles. They are currently the No. 9 seed in the Western Conference and are just 2.5 games out of fifth place in the standings.
Jordan is a very important piece of the Clippers’ core, both now and for the future. Hanging onto him and seeing what the remainder of the season has in store would be the wise move, even if he does opt out of the final year of his contract to hit unrestricted free agency this summer.
Los Angeles must hold onto Jordan. The rumors may be flying, but the Clippers should not pull the trigger on a trade just yet.v