During the Clippers' off-season, we will take a look at how each player on the team performed last season. Here's an evaluation of All-Star center DeAndre Jordan.
Jordan led the league in rebounding average (15.0), defensive rebounds (10.1) and was fourth in blocks per game (2.23). He grabbed 1,226 rebounds in the 2014-15 season, setting a single-season franchise record for the Clippers. Jordan also averaged career highs in points (11.5) and field-goal percentage (71%).
Clippers Coach Doc Rivers has repeatedly called Jordan the best defender in the league, and his teammates have said throughout the season that much of what he does doesn't even show up on the stats sheets, such as altering shots and preventing dribble penetration.
In March, Rivers said that if Jordan didn't win defensive player of the year, he would launch an investigation.
"He's clearly the defensive player of the year," Rivers said of Jordan. "If anybody else gets that award, we need to have an investigation. ... What he's doing defensively, if he was doing that offensively, he would be recognized as the MVP or one of them, but because it's defense, no one notices."
Jordan ended up coming in third for that defensive honor, behind Kawhi Leonard and Draymond Green. The Clippers' center, however, was later named to the NBA's all-defensive first team this season for the first time in his career.
Jordan was also passed over for the All-Star team, despite heavy lobbying from Rivers for him to be voted onto it by the coaches.
Said Rivers in January: "Every coach tells you that they want their players to sacrifice and be All-Star role players, then you have a guy that actually does it and they don't reward him. It just makes no sense to me. I'm trying to get the coaches to back their talk up basically and vote for DJ."
Jordan stepped up for the Clippers in a big way in February and March after Blake Griffin was sidelined for 15 games because of a staph infection in his right elbow that required surgery. Jordan had successive 20-20 performances, with 22 points and 27 rebounds on Feb. 9, and 24 points and 20 rebounds on Feb. 11. The following game, he fell two rebounds shy of another 20-20 game, finishing with 26 points and 18 rebounds. In Griffin's absence, Jordan had 15 or more rebounds in 13 of the team's 15 games.
His big weakness, of course, remains his free-throw shooting, where he shot only 39.7% during the regular season and 42.7% in the playoffs. Teams would often capitalize on his weakness by hacking him. After one stretch in February in which Jordan shot 54 free throws over two games, Jordan acknowledged being frustrated by the strategy.
"After a while it kind of wears on you," Jordan said. "Running up and down and getting hit by somebody that's 280 pounds, it sucks."
In the playoffs, Jordan averaged a career-high 13.1 points on 71.6% shooting. He also averaged 13.4 rebounds a game and 2.4 blocked shots.
Jordan becomes a free agent July 1, and Rivers said the Clippers are prepared to offer him a maximum contract.
"There's going to be a lot of teams [coming after him], and if they're not, there are a lot of dumb teams out there," Rivers said during exit interviews. "There's going to be a lot of teams coming after him that have money. There's a lot of them that don't, thank God. That helps us."
Jordan has been with the Clippers his entire seven-season career, and after L.A. was eliminated from the playoffs by the Houston Rockets in Game 7 of the second round, he said he had not yet thought about free agency.