DeAndre Jordan has a really tough dilemma to sort through this summer. Does he take the player option that will pay him $24.1 million for next season? The other option is that he declines the option and tries to get more security for the long haul. Turning down $24.1 million even on a one-year deal is risky business, especially during a summer where virtually no one has cap space. If Jordan does become an unrestricted free agent this summer, it appears that he has his eyes set towards the Rockets.
Kelly Iko of USA Today had the following:
“According to one source, Jordan was in the ears of multiple Rockets players throughout the 2017-2018 season, expressing his longtime desire to play in his hometown.
The source also detailed the events surrounding the infamous Clippers-Rockets postgame locker room altercation earlier in January. According to the source, after the altercation, Jordan spoke to multiple Rockets players on the team bus, citing frustration with the Clippers organization and a strong desire to leave. Blake Griffin, then a member of the Clippers and a teammate of Jordan, was traded to the Detroit Pistons less than two weeks later.”
There’s a lot to dive into here. One thing that complicates this is that the Rockets already have a better center on the roster in the form of Clint Capela. The Swiss center is not only better but he’s also a younger option who will be in his prime for longer. Jordan, 29, is 6 years older than the incumbent Capela. All intentions within the Rockets organization is that they plan on matching any restricted offer they receive for Capela.
Unless Jordan plans on taking a massive pay cut, this isn’t realistic. The only way this is a real option is if LeBron James decides to play for the Rockets. If LeBron decides to join the Rockets, they have to blow up a lot of the roster to land James in the first place. That would likely mean Capela is heading elsewhere opening up a spot for Jordan. If Jordan wants to settle for a mid-level exception with a chance to win a title, then maybe this makes sense. It does help that Texas does not have any state income tax so he would keep much more of his salary compared to a 13 percent state tax in California to stay with the Clippers. Jordan averaged 12.0 points and 15.2 rebounds per game in 77 appearances this past year with the Clippers.