The Los Angeles Clippers were dealt a huge blow this offseason when center DeAndre Jordan left them to sign with the Dallas Mavericks on a four-year, $US80 million deal.
The Clippers are left with a huge hole up front and have no money to find a replacement because they’re already above the salary cap.
While the Clippers could try and figure out sign-and-trades to get a center from another team, they have few assets to send away.
In light of the gigantic loss, Clippers guard J.J. Redick criticised his team in an interview with Nicole Zaloumis on Bleacher Report Radio, saying the Clippers get an “F” this offseason.
“Listen, we had one priority this summer, and that was to re-sign DJ,” Redick said. “And we missed out on that.”
In referring to the Clippers’ lack of resources to find a replacement, Redick said, “Barring some miracle, the make-up of our team is completely different now.”
Redick also described Jordan’s importance to the Clippers, noting some of the subtle ways he helped the team:
“He was such an integral part of what we did, not just defensively, but offensively with the screening, his rolling, his offensive rebounds. His presence down low essentially made teams either commit to the three-point line when Blake [Griffin] or Chris [Paul] penetrated, or commit to him, and that either opened up lobs to him or threes for guys like me and Jamal [Crawford] and Matt [Barnes].
“So he was a huge part of what we did and missing out and having him leave for Dallas gives us a failing grade.”
When Jordan left the Clippers for the Mavericks, ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz reported that Jordan had grown “tired of Chris Paul’s constant barking and petty gestures” and during free agency felt the Mavs had done more to make him feel wanted.
In a summer where the Clippers have also traded for Lance Stephenson and signed Paul Pierce, it’s interesting to see Redick react so candidly about losing Jordan. The Clippers have certainly taken a step back, but Redick is under contract for two more seasons and doesn’t have an easy out if he’s that displeased with the direction of the team.
Redick isn’t wrong in his analysis, but it doesn’t set a positive tone for what could be a trying year.
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