As of now the reported Celtics-Clippers deal is off because David Stern has deemed the deal to be "against NBA rules". However, the teams are still working on it, and there is a very realistic chance that the deal ends up being finalized after being tweaked to appease the commish.
When the dust settles, there's a strong chance that the trade is still built around Doc and KG heading west in exchange for DeAndre Jordan and two first round picks, a deal that many folks are upset by. I have been part of that. I wanted Eric Bledsoe. And I really wanted the Clippers to take either Jason Terry or Courtney Lee, freeing up cap space next summer. However, neither is happening.
Instead the Celtics and Clippers have agreed on a deal built around the extremely athletic big man from Texas Tech and two first round picks bound to be in the mid-to-late 20's. To say Celtics fans are not thrilled is an understatement.
However, let's not completely throw away Jordan yet, shall we. He is only 24 years old, and has slowly but surely improved during his five years in the NBA. Last season he averaged a career high 8.8 points per game, and led the NBA by shooting 64.3% from the floor. He's also a true rim protector, averaging 1.7 blocks per game over the past three seasons. For Celtics fans longing for a legitimate center, Jordan is exactly that. Not an All-Star, but a huge presence inside. Of course, at $11 million per season there is no question that he is vastly overpaid, but he is an asset. Starting centers don't grow on trees after all. He has also consistently graded well in the advanced statistics department. In each of the past three seasons, the Clippers have had a better point differential with Jordan on the court, than off. Overall since 2010, LA is +4.0 points per 100 possessions with DJ roaming the paint, and -0.2 points per 100 possessions when he's riding the pine.
Again, not saying this deal is great. But don't mistake that for it being a total loss.
There is also the added bonus that Jordan seems genuinely pumped to be coming to Boston. At least if Adrian Wojnarowski is correct. Woj went on the Dennis and Callahan show this morning, and said the following (interview transcribed by WEEI's Green Street)
“For the Celtics, I really think this is a win-win,” Wojnarowski said. “They wanted Doc to be their coach. They weren’t trying to run him out. But when he expressed his desire to do this, to get two first-round picks out of this, to get a young player, DeAndre Jordan, who they like but they don’t love him — I think everyone in the league feels his contract, he is overpriced. But I know DeAndre is excited about coming to Boston. He feels like maybe it has run its course with him and the Clippers. Maybe he will develop better in Boston. This is a situation where Boston is ready to do this, too. They are not sending Doc away angrily.”
I know that C's fans would rather have an unhappy Bledsoe than a happy Jordan, but at least the Celts aren't getting a guy that doesn't want to be here.
Ok, that's enough of me trying to put a positive spin on this. Go back to being (rightfully) upset, and rooting for David Stern to kill the deal.
Follow Mike on twitter - Mike_Dyer13 Michael Dyer 6/20/2013 02:18:00 PM Tweet Edit