Clippers’ Jordan obvious target for Cavs

Clippers center DeAndre Jordan is one of the NBA's premier protectors of the basket.

The Cleveland Cavaliers know they need help defensively and they know that help isn’t likely to come from within.

So that naturally puts them on the lookout for top-flight defenders as the Feb. 8 trade deadline closes in.

As league sources told Amico Hoops a few weeks back, the Cavs undoubtedly have an interest in Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan — and Jordan has repeatedly been linked to the Cavs.

It’s become pretty clear the Clippers are open to moving Jordan, but it’s also evident they aren’t going to just give him away for nothing. They want a draft pick, and if you’re talking Cavs, you’d better believe the Clippers would want the Cavs’ first-rounder from the Brooklyn Nets.

With the Nets looking like an actual team this season, that pick may not be as valuable as it once was to the Cavs. But it is still valued by them and the rest of the league. When it comes to the NBA draft lottery, you never know how the ping-pong balls may drop.

Basically, no one really expects the Nets to make the playoffs, so the pick is still considered an asset.

Granted, the Cavs don’t want to trade the pick — unless they think moving it will bring back a player that moves them considerably closer to a championship.

Jordan, 29, could be such a player. He is a 6-foot-11 rebounding and shot-blocking machine, finishing off passes with thunderous dunks.

He’s been especially good lately, averaging 13.0 points and a whopping 15.6 rebounds in the last 10 games. That includes a 26-point, 17-board effort against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Now, Jordan does have his flaws. He can’t shoot free throws — though he is up to 61 percent this season, a marked improvement over his career mark of 48 percent.

Nor does he solve the Cavs’ issues on perimeter defense.

DEAL REALISTIC?

If the Cavs were to make a trade Jordan, the first man to go would be center Tristan Thompson, someone the Clippers would insist on in return. Thompson is having an off season (though he’s been better as of late), but even at his worst, he can get out on the wing and defend when switched onto perimeter players.

As for Jordan, well, it’s safe to say that’s not his strength.

Either way, the Cavs would probably be willing to deal Thompson and Channing Frye in a deal for Jordan. They’d be much more willing to include their own pick (likely to be somewhere in the 20s) than the one from the Nets.

Jordan, by the way, is making $22 million with a player option for $24 million next year.

Right now, it seems like the Cavs are just sort of thinking about Jordan, and not acting on anything. As one source told Amico Hoops last month, they are merely “sniffing around” the idea of trading for the Clippers’ big man.

So a lot could still happen, with other players and perhaps teams getting thrown into the mix. Or nothing at all could happen and the Cavs could target lesser names, at a lesser cost, who may help just as much or more.

The key is to improve the D. Regardless of how the Cavs go about it or who they pursue, that is the mission before the trade deadline passes them by.

5 Comments on "Clippers’ Jordan obvious target for Cavs"

  1. The cavaliers traded away two first round draft picks for journeyman center timofey mozgov and they are balking at not including the nets first round draft pick to attain the finest rebounder in the nba with the highest shooting percentage and the most allyoops pass conversions. Imagine james, wade, and thomas throwing the ally-oop pass to jordan, he could convert about five of those passes per game. Plus the addition of jordan would give the cavaliers a starting lineup with four allsatars. Include thompson and crowder an the nets draft pick number 10 overall , notwithstanding over coming odds in the lottery,in the trade for jordan. Then frye is in the second string unit with korver, wade, green, and osman a unit that was meshing with great team chemistry. If they include frye in the deal , his contract expires this year, whereas crowder is signed for several years at a reasonable value which the clippers want. There would be no back up center if they included frye in the deal i prefer crowder as his defense against durant is not stellar and he is five inches shorter just as shumpert is.
    If the cavaliers lose in the playoffs and fail to acquire another positive impact player lebron james will assuredly leave the cavaliers. The best chance in retaining james and winning another championship is to add deandre jordan, or marc gasol or even jonas valenciunas to improve the odds of success.

  2. Sam, I would argue that acquiring DJ, probably the games premier defender and shot blocking big man in the paint, would, or should, ultimately make defending the perimeter easier for everyone else on the floor with him. It should allow everyone else to push out and contest more perimeter shots, without having to worry about the opposition scoring so easily on the inside with DJ protecting the rim.

    • That is an excellent analysis and way to look at things Steve. Not surprising coming from you! I think if Cavs can get Jordan, they should — without Nets pick. But if the Clippers don’t budge, offer to include the Nets pick for Jordan AND someone else.

      • Thanks Sam, kinds words mate. I’m still very much on the idea I mentioned the other day – TT , JR and the Nets pick for DJ and Lou Williams. I think a trade for DJ has an added bonus as well moving into next season whether LBJ stays or goes. LBJ goes and the Cavs continue with KL, DJ and IT as the big three. If LBJ stays, Kevin Love becomes very tradeable in the off season and probably worthy at least a 1st round draft pick back anyway, negating losing the Nets pick. Then the Cavs move forward with LBJ, DJ and IT as its big three. Just a thought anyways.

  3. I agree with Steve on this. Here’s my starting line-up with Jordan; IT, Crowder, James, Love and Jordan.

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