DeAndre Jordon is one of the few true centers left in the league. With no jump shot to his name, he is the type of prototypical center you think about when you think of a center. He stands at 6'11" and weighs in at 265 pounds. Jordan is an All-Star player, 3x All-NBA selection, 2x All-Defensive team player, and lead the league in rebounds twice. He is an absolute beast in this game and has averaged a double-double with at least 13.6 rebounds since the '13-'14 season. He has never shot the ball under 60.5% and holds the NBA record for field goal percentage in their career with a staggering 67.3%. On the other side of things, he could be the only NBA player who has a free throw percentage worse than his shooting percentage. For his career, he is 44.6% from the line.
While he is a defensive beast who has been able to average at least 2.5 blocks at his best, he cannot create offensive for himself. He is heavily reliant on having playmakers around him. He is a perfect pick and roll player in the game and finishes with real force. He does have a $24 million dollar player option but he could be looking to make it further in the playoffs than the second round. He could become an even greater player on a team who plays toward his strengths. It is about time that the Lob City Era finally comes to an end in L.A.
16 Won't: Golden State Warriors
There is no place or cap space on the Warriors for Deandre Jordan. Between their four All-Stars and they fast way that they play, Jordan does not fit. The Warriors play best when they have their small ball lineup on the floor and a classic center is not meant for that kind of role. Jordan is not looking to go somewhere that he would have to take such a decreased role on the floor and his production and value plummet to where he is going to be exiled from the league.
On top of that, the Warriors have a strange obsession with their centers in JaVale McGee, who is one of the most inconsistent players in the league and if you do not believe me then just ask Shaq about his foolish plays, and Zaza Pachulia who has more dirty plays in his career than he does quality plays. Not to mention the major pay cut he would have to take. He might not even be able to make $10 million on the Warriors and it would most likely be a very short deal. The Warriors is among the least logical of places for DeAndre Jordan to end up come free agency.
15 Sign: Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers make perfect sense for DeAndre Jordan. The Lakers are coming off a season where they won 35 games and were 12 games out of being in the playoffs. That is not nearly as bad as it sounds in the West and they could be just a few pieces away from being real contenders. They have the cap space to sign 2 max contracts and with great players being available it might be best for Jordan to join whoever they can bring in along with their young players who are budding stars just for the fact that they are in the City of Angels.
To pair him alongside guys like Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle, and Kyle Kuzma could prove to be just what they need to push into the playoffs.
On top of that, it would be the simplest move he could make if he wanted to play for a different team. He would not have to change much of anything in his life. Not his house, his car, driver's license, friends, family, and the nightlife. He would be sitting pretty in the town he already knows and playing for a team he actually believes in.
14 Won't: Sacramento Kings
The Kings haven't been in the playoffs in 13 seasons. The last time they were in the playoffs it was 2006 when they got knocked out in the first round to the San Antonio Spurs. This is not the kind of situation one would want to walk into. The last time they had an All-Star and All-NBA caliber center, they told him that there was no way they were going to trade him, as they were trading him to the Pelicans. Cousins should serve as a pretty big alarm to any big man or star in the league to avoid Kings with the current management installed unless you can get a real guarantee from them that nothing that shady will happen again. Aside from that, there are a few other reasons that Jordan should avoid the team.
Those reasons are Willie Cauley-Stein, Jack Cooley, Harry Giles III, Nigel Hayes, Kosta Koufos, Skal Labissiere, Zach Randolph, JaKarr Sampson, and a top-5 draft pick that is projected to be another big man like Marvin Bagley. That kind of competition for the minutes at center is not something that Jordan should even consider joining unless it is for a ridiculous amount of money.
13 Sign: New York Knicks
The ability for the Knicks to elevate the roster with an elite center next to Kristaps Porzingis is something that should be a no-brainer. Porzingis is a more natural power forward than he is at the center position so it is probably best for the team. The offensive potential for these two is undeniable. Having Jordan down low to finish big and clean up the boards with Porzingis spacing the floor is truly a nightmare. If they can get decent play with the guards then that will really be able to open the floor. Not to mention the defensive end with both of them on the floor.
It would be great for David Fizdale to be given such a tandem would be great for his start with the Knicks to bring them back to being a powerhouse in the league. The only issue is freeing up cap space which can be easily fixed if Enes Kanter moves on. That will get rid of the $18.2 million he is owed for the next season. Getting rid of Kanter will open up the cap space needed to sign Jordan but also the position so he can just slide right into their lineup.
12 Won't: Memphis Grizzlies
The Grizzlies have Mike Conley and Marc Gasol to be their All-Star caliber players. On top of that, they have Chandler Parsons on the roster so that takes away from what they could possibly be given to DeAndre Jordan. Unless they trade Marc Gasol away, I can not imagine why DJ would even consider going to Memphis. Gasol had one of his best years while being in the league. During the 2018 season, he had 17.2 points with 8.1 rebounds, both amongst his career highs. he also had another great year from three while making 1.5 a game and shooting 34.1%. Not to mention Mike Conley who was held back to 12 games due to injury. In the time he did play he was able to produce though.
On top of that, the Grizzlies are expected to have the second pick in the draft, which can add some real star power to their team.
Now that could be a guy like Luke Doncic or Jaren Jackson but it is far more likely they take DeAndre Ayton, Marvin Bagley, or Wendall Carter. DeAndre Jordan is too good of a talent to be in that kind of battle for minutes. DeAndre should steer clear of Memphis.
11 Sign: Phoenix Suns
The Suns are a franchise that can really change their outlook this offseason. With the cap space open, and a definite early draft pick, they could make a real playoff push. With Devin Booker on the team, a man who has shown the ability to score when he went off for 70 in a game, you know the offense is fierce. Even if Elfrid Payton or Brandon Knight become the starting point guard or they bring in a guy like Luke Doncic with the draft pick. There are plenty of option that can help Phoenix push past the 21 wins they made this season to become real contenders to be a lower seed or maybe more.
With that, there is very little competition at the center position with no clear-cut starter on the team. That could be solved in the draft but I believe that the best decision for the Suns, who are still searching for a head coach, would be to sign DeAndre Jordan as a guarantee to fill the box score in points, rebounds, and blocks while being among the league leaders in field goal percentage. The Suns are the perfect team for him to go to if he wants to become an All-Star again.
10 Won't: Detroit Pistons
Do I have to say anything? Really? In that case just look at their starting front court. Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin. They have to be the future of the franchise. Not only do they take up the starting roles by playing about 33.2 minutes and 33.7 minutes a game. There is no time that could be given to him without hurting all three of their value and production. Not to mention that both of them are on max contracts so there is little money to be spread around, and there is no reason for DJ to walk away from his own player option of $24 million just to be undercut in value, production, and pay.
The Pistons are on a different path and one that DJ should avoid considering Detroit will not first-round round draft pick this year as they sent it to Los Angles in order to get Blake. Speaking of Blake, he is the old teammate of DJ, and it was not working out so well which is why the Clippers split them up. To rejoin him would only bring back the mediocracy they were facing in L.A. There is no reason to leave the Clippers to join a team with a worse current situation and a bleaker future.
9 Sign: Washington Wizards
This would make quite the threesome in the nation's capital. John Wall and Bradley Beal are already considered to be amongst the best backcourt duos in the league. They have both contributed greatly to any sort of success the Wizards have had in recent time while the rest of the roster has left a lot more to be desired. Consider Otto Porter Jr. Occasionally he looks like a player who deserves to be paid the $106.5 million on his contract but mostly he does not even come close to it. Marcin Gortat is an aging center at 34-years-old and should be considered over the hill.
Marcus Morris used to be a very dependable and consistent player in the rotation but he did not live up to the name this year.
What about their bench? Ty Lawson was brought in during the playoffs to be a consistent option off the bench. Basically, they have no one to come off and play. Jordan can only make the All-Star duo better. He can actually run the pick and roll on offense and defends it pretty well too. Not to mention the much-needed rim protection that he can bring to the table. The Wizards are one guy away from making a real splash in the playoffs instead of continuous early exits in them.
8 Won't: Miami Heat
The Miami Heat would just do the same thing to DJ that they did to Hassan Whiteside this past season. Whiteside is a great center who averaged 17.0 points and 14.1 rebounds with 2.1 last season when the Heat gave him 32.6 minutes a game. Then this season they cut his playing time to 25.3 minutes and only averaged 14.0 points and 11.4 rebounds with 1.7 blocks. Continue to the playoffs where they lost in 5 games to the 76ers, Whiteside's minutes were cut again to 15.4 minutes and his numbers reflected the cut again with 5.2 points and 6.0 rebounds with 1.2 blocks. The Heat does not trust in the prototypical center anymore and has already stated that they want to trade him.
The Heat have the center they want for the foreseeable future in Bam Adebayo. This type of situation is the exact one to avoid. If they do not think that Hassan Whiteside is good in that role, they definitely will fade on DeAndre Jordan as well, and trade him to a team where he probably does not want to be. DeAndre Jordan can find much better roles somewhere else in the league where his skill set will be appreciated and used much more.
7 Sign: Milwaukee Bucks
Giannis needs the help. He cannot be expected to continue having to play all 5 positions. The addition of Eric Bledsoe helped out to take some of the ball-control load off of him and if Jabari Parker can actually come back and play then that could be a big help! The real help they need is at the center position though. The sad thing is they have 4 centers under contract and none of them is really starter worthy. Marshall Plumlee is on a two-way contract and could be the worst Plumlee brother.
Tyler Zeller is in his 5th year in the league and might not be the worst Zeller brother, but he is barely a backup player.
Thon Maker is in his 2nd year in the league and more than his birthday is in question, like can he play or was he worth the 10th overall pick. And John Henson is not a bad player, but DeAndre Jordan would be such a big upgrade. DeAndre Jordan can make a deep playoff run with the Bucks. He can be the one who gets them out of the first round of the playoffs. They have not made it out of the first round of the playoffs since 2001. They need Help and Jordan is their best option out there.
6 Won't: Toronto Raptors
DeAndre Jordan should have no interest in joining the LeBron-to Raptors and getting knocked out by LeBron and company in the playoffs, no matter what round they meet them in. Sure the Raptors could use him, they are a deeper team than the Wizards, they have more playoff experience than the Bucks, they have more veterans than the Suns, less commotion than the Knicks, and gets him far and away from LA. None of that matters when you crumble against the same team every single year. DeAndre should really avoid this situation, plus going from the warm days in Los Angeles to the freezing cold snow of Canada might deter him more than all of that.
On top of all that, the Raptors do not have much, if they have any, room in their cap space. With DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry signed to max deals, or close to it, as long as having 8 other players signed through the 2020 season, They do not have much wiggle room to try and sign DJ to a reasonable offer for his value. Not to say he would not be a huge upgrade over Serge Ibaka and Jonas Valanciunas, he just should avoid them for everything.
5 Sign: Boston Celtics
Look at what the Celtics have done without their two best players in Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving. They made it past the Milwaukee Bucks in 7 games, cruised to a series win over the Sixers in 5 games, and are about to face LeBron and the Cavs in the Eastern Conference Finals. Brad Stevens could do quite a lot to help DeAndre live his best life. With Al Horford on contract through 2020, you might be questioning this call. But Horford is just undersized to play the center position and players better when he is slotted at the 4.
The two-time rebounding champion and his elite athleticism makes him a great size for the position and helps him to be a great finisher around the rim and also to protect the rim on the defensive end. There could be a few roster moves that have to be made to free up minutes and maybe even cap space for him to sign a big enough deal to entice him to Boston, or as Kyrie called it, a real sports city. There are moves that can be made and if the Celtics want to slide Al Horford to his natural position, and improve on their rebounds, DJ is the only real way to go.
4 Won't: Indiana Pacers
The Pacers were by far the surprise team this season by beating the over/under by a wide margin. Everyone expected them to be slotted for a top spot in the draft and rather they found their way into the 5 seed where they brought the king to a very tough series, the toughest he has faced, ever. This season Victor Oladipo had a coming out party and made his first All-Star team and should be an All-NBA selection this year. There is no doubt that the Pacers have a brighter future in the league than a lot of other teams in the league.
All that being said and DeAndre Jordan should avoid the Pacers because they have a center they believe in. Myles Turner is a good center who they hope can become great. In his 3 years in the league, he has averaged 12.7 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks a game. He as also shot the ball fairly well with 49.8% from the field, 34.6% from three-point range, and 78.3% from the line. With Myles Turner being the guy who they can lean on and other holes that they would rather fill on the team, it is best for DJ to go his own way.
3 Sign: Dallas Mavericks
Oh the irony this would bring. In the summer of 2015, DeAndre Jordan and Dallas Mavericks reached a verbal agreement. He was slated to be there center that they have sought after for years now. Until a weird lock-in happened with him, Blake Griffin, and Chris Paul, players who are no longer on the team, and he backed out of it to re-up with the Los Angeles Clippers. This is still a great situation for Jordan. DJ is from Texas, Houston to be exact, but this is still quite the home court situation for him. Considering there is a lot of scoring options on the team right now, it is believable that DJ would be forced into a greater role but that feels like something he has always wanted anyway.
Not to mention that playing with the young star in Dennis Smith Jr. would be perfect for Jordan.
The way that Smith plays would suit DJ well especially in the pick and roll. Not to mention that they were the third worst team in the league last year and will have a top pick in the draft. That pick, along with Dennis Smith Jr., Harrison Barnes, and DeAndre Jordan might not compete for a championship this year but they would no doubt be right there ready to make a push in a year or two. Dallas would be the perfect place for him alongside their players and it would almost be a home court for him.
2 Won't: Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks do not believe in the big man offensive game. They traded away Dwight Howard last season and gave up their 31st pick and the only return they received for it was the 41st pick, Marco Belinelli, and Miles Plumlee. They were trying to get away from that type of player and I am pretty sure that they accepted the first offer that came their way. They are also at the start of a new rebuilding process. Investing in a player like DeAndre Jordan would not be likely. On top of that, he would have no interest in playing on this team because he is looking for a championship opportunity.
The Hawks do not even have a head coach right now after splitting ways with the one-time winner of Coach of the Year in Mike Budenholzer. The Hawks also do not have an elite guard which is crucial for his play style. DeAndre Jordan needs a player who can see the floor well and has a high basketball IQ especially out of the pick and roll. Dennis Schroder just has not shown he would have the ability to feed Jordan the way that he needs to be fed to be great. The Hawks are just out of the equation for the '18-'19 season.
1 Sign: Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers are the obvious choice. I believe Dorthy said it best in the Wizard of Oz, "There's no place like home." Having finished only 5 games out of the playoffs it is reasonable to assume that they would have the ability to make a push next season with the right signing in free agency and there is more than enough cap space on the team to sweep up a perennial All-Star next to Jordan. Jordan is already familiar with the team and is the veteran for them. He was able to average 12.0 points and 15.2 rebounds this season while leading his team.
For the Clippers the best thing that they can do is sign a guard. Maybe a guy like Isaiah Thomas can prove to be a great decision for them. He is coming off a season where he was improperly used for both teams he played on. But with the Clippers, he could have the ability to return to his Celtics form. He would be the primary ball handler which is what he truly needs to succeed in the league. With all that attention being given to Isaiah Thomas, DeAndre Jordan can really flourish. That is why he might re-sign with this team.