NBA Rumors: Clippers Receiving DeAndre Jordan Trade Calls Amid Bucks Interest

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 6, 2017

Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)
Kyusung Gong/Associated Press

With Eric Bledsoe moving to the Milwaukee Bucks in November, Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan became arguably the biggest name on the NBA trade market.

While Jordan has spent his entire NBA career with the Clippers, who selected him 35th overall in the 2008 draft, trading the 10-year veteran would make sense for Los Angeles.

USA Today's Sam Amick reported Monday the Clippers "are listening to all incoming calls" about Jordan but aren't aggressively shopping him around the league. According to Amick, Los Angeles is also asking for a high return in any trade negotiations.

Jordan can opt out of his current deal at the end of the season and is in line to receive another massive contract.

Spending $20-plus million a year on a center with a limited offensive game isn't an exciting prospect, and that's especially true for the Clippers, who just gave Blake Griffin a five-year, $171 million contract.

Griffin's sprained MCL would seemingly give the Clippers front office even more reason to trade Jordan. With the team already looking less and less like a playoff contender, Los Angeles should cash in on Jordan now rather than try to keep him on the roster in hopes of re-signing him.

ESPN's Bobby Marks noted Jordan's lack of an agent would've hindered the Clippers' efforts to trade him:

However, ESPN.com's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Jordan hired Excel Sports Management's Jeff Schwartz to represent him, which removes that roadblock from the equation.

The Racine Journal TimesGery Woelfel shed some light on the market for Jordan, reporting the Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards, Minnesota Timberwolves and Milwaukee Bucks appear to be at the front of the line.

According to Woelfel, the Clippers have already identified three Bucks players they'd hope to receive in return for Jordan: Malcolm Brogdon, John Henson and Khris Middleton. Los Angeles would want at least two of the three.

After trading Greg Monroe in order to acquire Bledsoe, the Bucks are certainly in dire need of help inside. They're fresh off a 111-100 defeat to the Boston Celtics on Monday in which they were out-rebounded 52-33 and outscored 60-34 in the paint.

Although Jordan would be a clear upgrade to its frontcourt, Milwaukee would have to be careful not to sacrifice too much for a player who could be just a half-season rental. At least in the case of Bledsoe, the team got back a guard who's signed through next year.

The Bucks haven't generally been a premier free-agent destination, which is why them signing Monroe in 2015 was considered a minor coup. Giannis Antetokounmpo becoming a genuine star-level talent could change that perception, but re-signing Jordan in the summer would be far from a guarantee even with Antetokounmpo's improvement.

Because of the questions over Jordan's future, it's probably safe to say Middleton is off the table. The Bucks would be crazy to trade the 26-year-old forward, who's under contract through next year with a player option in 2019-20, if Jordan is the best asset they're getting in return.

Henson and Brogdon, on the other hand, shouldn't be considered off limits. Losing Henson would free up a starting spot for Jordan, while Brogdon turns 25 on Dec. 11. He may not have a whole lot of upside despite only being in his second season. Milwaukee would still have Matthew Dellavedova as well to back up Bledsoe at the point.

Having Henson and Brogdon as the headliners for a three-time All-NBA center probably wouldn't excite some Clippers fans. The team's negotiating position isn't all that different from when it traded Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets, with Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams the best players in the package it got back from Houston.

Brogdon and Henson lack a lot of name recognition, but they'd serve vital roles for the Clippers all the same. Beverley is out for the season, creating the need for another proven point guard, which Brogdon would address. Henson would give Los Angeles a youngish center who can aid the team in the short term or be a part of a long-term rebuild.

The Clippers don't need to rush into any trade just yet. They still have two months before the 2018 trade deadline passes.

Should Los Angeles' slide continue, it's likely only a matter of time before the front office reaches an agreement to trade Jordan.

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