We've made the case for why those interested in seeing Paul Pierce re-sign with the Washington Wizards should pay CLOSE ATTENTION to Los Angeles Clippers free agent DeAndre Jordan.
It would appear the Clippers agree with that thinking, according to a report from Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.
Let's quickly reset the scenario:
- Jordan, one of the top free agents this summer, reportedly is in play for four teams with the Clippers and Dallas Mavericks clearly in the lead for the Texas native.
- As for Pierce, the 17-year veteran is from Los Angeles and he won an NBA title with Clippers head coach Doc Rivers when both were with the Boston Celtics. Those two factors might have the soon-to-be 38-year-old thinking about heading west.
- However, the Clippers, assuming they keep Jordan, can only pay Pierce $3.4 million for the 2015-16 season. That's reportedly around than $3 million less than the Wizards' offer.
- Maybe the allure of playing in the city he calls home counterbalances the reality of leaving money on the table. Therefore the tiebreaker might come down to which place provides the best shot at winning a title for the 2008 NBA champion. The Wizards were perhaps a John Wall injury away from reaching the Eastern Conference finals, but ultimately lost in the conference semifinal round, as did the Clippers. With Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, Los Angeles is arguably the better team head-to-head. However, the west is loaded, meaning the Wizards might have the best hope for a deep playoff run. Based on current rosters, they certainly do if Jordan leaves.
As for whether that might happen, we should note that the Mavericks secured the first meeting with Jordan overnight and then had a long meeting during the afternoon.
The Clippers had a backup plan. If Jordan agreed to terms with the Mavericks, the two teams could agree to a sign-and-trade. Los Angeles would want center Tyson Chandler. His presence might be enough to have Pierce still loving LA. Alas, Chandler signed a deal with Phoenix Wednesday. Never say never in the wacky world of free agency, but the Clippers don't have enough cap space or assets to properly replace Jordan.
At that point, it wouldn't make basketball sense for Pierce to join the Clippers. The Wizards organization expressed confidence with keeping their playoff hero over the last few days. If Jordan signs with any team besides the Clippers, that confidence will grow stronger. If Jordan stays, then the situation becomes super interesting for all sides.