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Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan has a player option worth $24.1 million next season and until June 29 to make a decision on opting in or becoming a restricted free-agent.
The Clippers, who held discussions regarding a Jordan trade with a bevy of teams during the February trade deadline, missed the playoffs this year for the first time since 2011 and could be embarking on a rebuild.
Jordan, speaking to reporters during his end of the season presser, says he’s not going to rush into a decision and will do the best thing for his career and family.
“I think I’m just going to hang out this summer and wait it out,” Jordan said. “I mean, it’ll be a tough decision. “I want to think about all my options and do what’s best for me and my career and my family. But most important, like I always say, I want to be where I’m wanted. And wherever that is, that’s hopefully where I’m going to be.”
Jordan had another productive season during the 2017-18 campaign. The high-flyer averaged 12.0 points and 15.2 rebounds in 77 games while shooting 64.5 percent from the field.
The 29-year-old has spent his entire NBA career with the Clippers, but admits he and the franchise have not held any contract discussions.
“None,” Jordan said. “Zero. Zero discussions.”
Clippers president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank addressed the Jordan situation when he met with reporters Thursday.
“Right now, we’ll continue to have dialogue with DJ and his agent,” Frank said. “But essentially, it’s DJ’s option. There is a contract for him next year if he wants to be here. So we’ll continue to have conversations. DJ is one of the elite rim protectors, rebounders, and has been his entire career. So we’ll deal with that the rest of the offseason.”
Jordan and his camp knew the Clippers were shopping him during the trade deadline, but the big man says he’s numb to all of it. Jordan watched the organization trade All-Star forward Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons, just seven months after Griffin re-signed with LA on a five-year max deal.
“They’ve been talking about trading me for the past five years, so I’m kind of numb to it now,” Jordan said. “This year was the most I thought it was going to happen. But obviously it didn’t happen. But like I said, it’s always good to have teams interested in you and who value what you do on the basketball court.”
If he declines his player option and enters the open market, Jordan figures to be pursued by multiple contenders.