DeAndre Jordan Trade Rumors: Blazers Have 'Tried to Engage' Clippers in Talks

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJanuary 22, 2018

Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan grabs a rebound during the first half of a basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks, Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

The Portland Trail Blazers are reportedly "among the teams that have tried to engage the [Los Angeles] Clippers in trade talks for DeAndre Jordan," according to Marc Stein of the New York Times.

Stein added, however, that the Clippers "have yet to receive a proposal from Cleveland, Milwaukee, Portland or anyone else that they've found seriously tempting."

Portland is an interesting suitor for Jordan seeing as the team traded for center Jusuf Nurkic last season. Nurkic, 23, is averaging 14.4 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game, though he has been inconsistent, and his defensive ability and effort often wane.

That has led Nurkic to be benched for long stretches in several games this year.

Jordan, meanwhile, has posted another solid season for the Clippers, averaging 11.8 points, 14.9 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game. He's a far better rebounder and defender than Nurkic and remains one of the most dynamic above-the-rim finishers as the roller in the pick-and-roll.

But the 29-year-old, who has a $24.1 million player option for the 2018-19 season, could become a free agent this summer. That could inspire the Clippers to move him before the February 8 trade deadline.

If they do indeed make a deal, Nurkic would almost assuredly head to L.A. as a part of the trade, though for the deal to work under the cap, Portland would have to include one of its bigger salaries as well. Damian Lillard is ostensibly untouchable, and it's hard to imagine C.J. McCollum would be dealt either.

That would leave Evan Turner—set to make $17.1 million this year, $17.9 million next year and $18.6 million in the 2019-20 season—as the next logical trade piece.

Would a package built around Nurkic, Turner and perhaps another player or draft picks be enough to bring Jordan to Portland? Could the Trail Blazers involve a third team or get creative in some other way to make the deal work if L.A. isn't interested in Nurkic and Turner?

It's a fascinating potential scenario, but at the moment, it also feels like a long shot.

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