Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo is reporting on twitter that the Clippers have an offer of five years, $40 million for DeAndre Jordan, their 23-year old restricted free agent center. He also claims that Jordan is “destined to sign offer sheet and force them to match.”
The reported offer has drawn criticism from some corners of the internet as a symbol of NBA teams returning to their irresponsible spending ways, and it is a fair amount of money for a guy whose full potential may yet to be realized.
But Clippers fans can be encouraged by this news for a variety of reasons:
- ClipperBlogger D.J. explained why the team has little choice but to retain Clippers center D.J. If he ends up signing for around the reported number of $8 million per year, the team can be relatively confident that they are getting him for less than they might have paid.
- As noted in a primarily critical review at NBC’s Pro Basketball Talk, $40 million for a guy who averaged about seven points and seven rebounds a game might raise eyebrows, on its face. Upon closer look, however, you see a guy who:
- Led the entire league in field goal percentage (69%), thanks in large part to finishing third in the league in dunks (158). Only attempted slightly more than four shots per game, but you can’t say he wasn’t efficient.
- Ranked in the top half (14th) of qualified centers in Rebound Rate (16.5%). He is at least three years younger than every one ahead of him.
- Ranked 5th in the league among centers in blocks per 40 minutes.
- Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there is almost none of the risk that would usually be attached to a contract of this size and length. It is almost certain that he’d be included in any trade for Dwight Howard or Chris Paul. If he is, neither the length nor the dollar sum of the contract will be of any consequence for the Clippers. If neither deal materializes or for some reason he is left out, they will have on their hands a 7-footer with some seasoning and a track record of steady improvement, but potential for even more. Between his athletic gifts and unmistakable presence in the locker room, its hard to imagine the Clips would regret paying him $8 million (or the escalating manifestation of that as an average annual salary) as a 27-year old in 2015-2016.