As the lockout rapidly fades into a memory of the past, teams became able to contact their players on Wednesday morning. ESPN LA’s Ramona Shelburne reports that the Clippers contact EJ and DJ first, in hopes of retaining both of them as key members to the Blake Griffin-led squad. Here are a couple of key points Shelburne mentioned:
The Los Angeles Clippers reached out to the representatives of guard Eric Gordon and center DeAndre Jordan early Wednesday morning to discuss a contract extension for Gordon and a new contract for Jordan, who is a restricted free agent, general manager Neil Olshey told ESPNLosAngeles.com.
“The first phone calls from our organization today were in regard to our own players,” Olshey said. “We’re committed to the core group we have. We’ve been building slowly and we’re in a great position to capitalize on that now with our cap flexibility. But we know that our existing players are a priority.”
Under the expected terms of the new collective bargaining agreement, which has yet to be ratified, Gordon would be eligible for a four-year extension on his rookie contract. Previously those type of extensions had to be completed by the beginning of the season, but because of the lockout, it’s unknown when that deadline will be. If Gordon and the Clippers cannot come to an agreement on an extension, he would become a restricted free agent after this season, giving him the right to sign an offer sheet elsewhere that the Clippers could match.
A league source said Jordan’s preference is to remain with the Clippers, but that he will entertain other offers and wouldn’t hesitate to sign elsewhere.
Re-signing Jordan is also seen as an important to the Clippers longterm future because of his close relationship with forward BlakeGriffin.
“If we put the pieces around Blake and DeAndre Jordan and Eric Gordon and the rest of the talent we have, that can win at a high level, that’s what’s going to impress everybody,” Olshey said.
“We’ve made no secret that keeping this core group together and then building upon it, through free agency, through trades, through the draft, is how we’re going to have sustainable success.”