While the Cleveland Cavaliers‘ roster continues to be in flux because of injuries, the team’s focus on bringing in additional talent for what they hope will be a long postseason run continues. One consideration in this area that remains at the forefront is the Cavaliers’ interest in Los Angeles Clippers‘ center DeAndre Jordan.
Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com writes that the struggling Clippers may choose to go into a full rebuilding mode by the time the Feb. 8 trading deadline arrives. That includes dealing the 29-year-old Jordan, who is currently averaging 11.6 points and 15.1 rebounds per game. In addition, Jordan also provides a solid shot-blocking presence in the paint and has seemingly improved his once-horrible foul-shooting ability by connecting at a 60 percent rate this year.
That defensive presence could be especially vital to the Cavaliers’ championship hopes, since they’re currently near the bottom in the area of defensive efficiency. They’re currently ranked 28th among the NBA’s 30 teams in that category, giving up 107.2 points per game.
Jordan’s $22 million salary would require the Cavaliers to give up players like Tristan Thompson, Channing Frye or Iman Shumpert in order to fit within the league’s cap. That’s because the Cavs currently have no room to fit such a large contract onto their roster.
The Clippers may be reluctant to accept those players, but Pluto offered a scenario in which they agree to the deal:
“I’ve heard the Clippers would strongly consider it if the Cavs added the Brooklyn 2018 first-round draft pick that they acquired in the Kyrie Irving deal,” Pluto wrote. “I’ve heard the Cavs don’t plan to trade that pick.”
Through Saturday night’s games, that selection remains a lottery pick, with the Nets having the ninth-worst record in the NBA.
One factor that the Cavaliers also have to consider is the fact that Jordan can opt out of his contract for next season, when he’s scheduled to make $24 million.
Pluto points out that the Clippers’ front office has a number of individuals who used to work for the Cavaliers. That group includes the team’s general manager Mike Wenger, who began his NBA career in 2005 under former Cavs general manager Danny Ferry.
With one month remaining before the NBA trade deadline materializes, the Jordan rumors that first began in late November will continue to percolate. That means whether or not he ends up in Cavaliers’ uniform remains to be seen.