The Los Angeles Clippers’ daunting offseason could get even more complicated.
Chris Paul and unrestricted free agent center DeAndre Jordan are reportedly feuding, according to Bill Reiter of Fox Sports.
All season, multiple sources say, a growing schism emerged between Jordan and point guard Chris Paul, and it could contribute to Jordan’s decision to stay or go as a free agent.
Sources say Paul’s well-known edginess and drive ground on Jordan’s nerves for much of the year. Contributing to the problem was Paul’s view that Jordan lacked the appropriate commitment to working on his free throws, including not working enough with the Clippers shooting coach on that issue, sources said.
Jordan shot a dismal 39.7% on free throws this year. He was so bad that the Spurs and Rockets both turned to a “hack-a-Jordan” strategy where they intentionally fouled him every possession for long stretches of games.
It’s unclear whether any of this matters. Paul was reportedly feuding with Blake Griffin in 2013, and things have been fine between the two ever since. But “a league source familiar with the inner workings of the Clippers organisation” told Reiter that the Paul rift is part of the reason it’s possible that Jordan leaves the team in free agency this summer.
Jordan is eligible for a five-year deal with more than $US100 million from the Clippers. Considering the team’s current roster situation and the fact that the salary cap is set to explode in 2016-17, it stands to reason that the Clippers are going to give him a max offer.
He’d have to take less money if he left (four years, ~$US80 million). It’s also hard to believe he’d find a team that gives him a better chance to win a title.
Even if there is a Jordan-Paul feud, it’d have to be really, really bad if Jordan was willing to sacrifice money and a title opportunity to leave.