DeAndre Jordan’s relationship with Clippers will only become more awkward with contract negotiations ahead
Jordan might be holding some resentment toward Clippers management, and understandably so. He has logged the most games in franchise history, playing at least 77 games in each of the last five seasons prior to 2017-18. After earning his first All-Star selection last year, his production has dipped without Chris Paul (nearly a seven percent drop in field goal percentage), but Jordan has still been effective in the paint, averaging 11.4 points and a career-high 15.1 rebounds per game. He is right behind Pistons center Andre Drummond in defensive and overall rebounding percentage, and he is among the league leaders in points off putbacks.
The Clippers could keep Jordan if he opts in, reset the trade clock and compete for a playoff spot. But that road could keep them stuck in NBA purgatory. Let Jordan walk, and the Clippers can completely put the nail in the coffin on the Lob City era. But with veterans remaining on the roster and changes to the NBA lottery system ready to be put into effect, how much of a rebuild would it truly be?
Ham was an assistant coach with the New Mexico Thunderbirds of the D-League from 2008-10 and later took over as head coach in 2010-11. He joined the Lakers following his D-League stint, and in 2013, new Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer came calling.
I wanted Ham, Budenholzer said. He had to be part of what we were doing. You never know if you’re ready to make that jump until you do, but he’s got all the tools.
Budenholzer would know — he’s already had two coaches leave his tree for head coaching jobs. He’s also part of the Popovich tree, which has taken roots all over the league.
It’s good to have assistants with aspirations, Budenholzer said. Pop always encouraged us to have input, and it’s made so many guys so much better. Now, it’s my turn to do the same.
We will hear a lot about how Mitchell has carried Utah, while Simmons has been able to lean on Joel Embiid. There is truth in that. Opponents have outscored the Sixers by about 4.2 points per 100 possessions when Simmons plays without Embiid, per NBA.com.