Some of the deals that never transpired over the 2018 NBA Trade Deadline end up being the most interesting ones. The Clippers are looking to blow up their odd roster and have already shipped out the face of the franchise, Blake Griffin. Jordan was the last big name remaining from the old lob city team and was just dangling on the trade block. It turns out Jordan was almost shipped out of town to Cleveland to join LeBron James and the Cavs.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN had the following:
“When Altman visited with James in the Cavaliers’ practice facility a week ago, he let him know that there were still talks alive with the LA Clippers on a Jordan deal. What’s more, there was significant progress: Altman had ownership approval to send the Clippers Jae Crowder, Channing Frye, Iman Shumpert and the Cavs’ 2018 first-round pick for Jordan. The Clippers were willing to accept the trade, but on one significant condition.
Clippers general manager Michael Winger explained to Altman that LA didn’t want another shooting guard. He hoped to find a third team that would take Shumpert and his $21 million with draft compensation, and have the Clippers get a center back. Altman and Winger agreed to make more calls to try to find a third team to make the deal work. Winger wondered whether Altman would let him talk to Shumpert’s agent about a possible contract buyout, but Altman wanted trade talks to be further along before granting that permission.”
Iman Shumpert of all people held up the trade. Shumpert has a player option for $10 million that probably won’t get exercised if it were up to a team. Once the two parties couldn’t find a third team to take Shumpert, the Cavs moved on and made the Lakers trade to acquire Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance.