While the Clippers wait for center DeAndre Jordan to decide on his player option for next season, they have given his representative permission to speak with the Dallas Mavericks about a trade, according to several NBA executives who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
Jordan, who has been with the Clippers his entire 10-year career, has a deadline of 8:59 PDT Friday to exercise the option of his contract that will pay him $24.1 million next season.
Whatever proposal Jordan’s agent, Jeff Schwartz, develops with the Mavericks, the Clippers aren’t sure if it would benefit them to do a sign-and-trade deal, said the executives.
Guard Wesley Matthews, who will earn $18.7 million next season in the final year of his contract, is the most likely Maverick to be sent to the Clippers if a deal is reached.
The Mavericks also would be willing to sign Jordan as a free agent if he decides to opt out of his deal, according to one of the executives.
The Clippers have seven guards on their roster after trading Austin Rivers on Tuesday to the Washington Wizards for center Marcin Gortat, who is insurance if Jordan decides to walk.
The Clippers are high on rookie guards Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jerome Alexander, who they acquired during the draft, and have NBA sixth man of the year Lou Williams, Patrick Beverley, Milos Teodosic, Juwan Evans and Sindarius Thornwell under contract.
Jordan spurned the Mavericks during the free-agency period in 2015 after giving the team a verbal commitment to join Dallas on a four-year deal.
Jordan instead changed his mind and then a contingent of owner Steve Ballmer, coach Doc Rivers and then-teammates Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, JJ Redick and Paul Pierce went to his home in Houston to stay with Jordan until he signed his extension with the Clippers.