According to team sources, the Warriors are going to offer Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan a four-year, $40 million contract on Sunday, as first reported by Matt Steinmetz at CSNBA.
If Jordan signs the offer sheet, the Clippers will have three days to decide whether they will match the offer since Jordan is a restricted free agent. If they don’t match, the 6-foot-11, 23-year-old center prospect will be a Warrior.
The Clippers reportedly offered Jordan a five-year deal worth $40 million. They reportedly were hesitant to offer too much to Jordan because the Clippers have plans to go after Orlando center Dwight Howard. But one league source said with Howard primarily interested in Orlando, the Clippers will be more inclined to match (and try to deal center Chris Kaman to create salary cap space). Another incentive for the Clippers to match: Jordan is best friends with Clippers’ franchise star Blake Griffin.
One source said Jordan was fourth on the Warriors’ list of desired big men. But the other three proved too expensive. Tyson Chandler, their top choice, signed with New York for four years, $58 million. Nene, an unrestricted free agent, is asking for $15 million per year, which one team source said is at least what it would take to pry restricted free agent center Marc Gasol away from Memphis.
Jordan is the least proven on the Warriors’ wish list. The fourth-year center — who last season averaged 7.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 25.6 minutes — is much more potential than production. But he has the best price and arguably the most upside. He’s known for his athleticism and length, which allows him to run the floor well, finish at the rim and block shots.
The Warriors have waived guard Jeremy Lin, a local product and fan favorite, and held off on signing rookies Klay Thompson and Jeremy Tyler so they can have enough cap space to make an offer to Jordan. The Warriors will also have to use the amnesty clause to waive guard Charlie Bell in order to create enough room under the salary cap to sign Jordan.
If Jordan signs the offer sheet Sunday, and the Clippers take the full three days to make a decision, that means Thompson and Tyler wouldn’t join sign and join training camp until Wednesday.
If the Clippers match, the Warriors will likely go after a journeyman big and bench help and take another crack at a difference maker before the March trade deadline.