Los Angeles Clippers stars Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan are not in the midst of a feud, despite a report this week that a rift between the two could cause Jordan to leave the franchise, teammate Dahntay Jones said Tuesday. Jordan led the NBA in rebounding for the 2014-15 season and will become an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
“Guys fight and argue on the court, but that’s just the emotion of the game ... people want to blow things out of proportion,” Jones told TMZ Sports, adding that he hasn’t seen any sign of a rift between the two players. “Those guys are brothers, man. They sit with each other on the plane, on the bus. If you don’t like a guy you stay away from him.”
Jones’ comments came after the Clippers blew a 3-1 series lead against the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference semifinals, culminating in a 113-110 loss in Game 7 Sunday. While there was little evidence of tension between Paul and Jordan during the series, a Fox Sports report this week said the pair had disagreements throughout the season due to “Paul’s well-known edginess.”
“Things aren’t good there,” an NBA source familiar with the Clippers told Fox Sports, adding that the rift between the two could ultimately cause Jordan to sign with a different team this offseason. “[Jordan] might leave. He really might,” the source said.
Jordan started all 82 games at center for the Clippers this season and enjoyed his best statistical season to date. The 26-year-old averaged 11.5 points and 15 rebounds per game and shot more than 70 percent from the field. Jordan also made crucial defensive contributions to a Clippers team that won 56 games and defeated the defending champion San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs.
His career-best season ensured that several teams, including the Clippers and the Dallas Mavericks, would contend to sign him this offseason. Jordan will not sign for anything less than a five-year, $100 million maximum contract, Yahoo Sports reported.
Clippers head coach Doc Rivers expressed confidence this week that Jordan would re-sign with the franchise. “You can’t take anything for granted, but DJ loves being a Clipper. DJ loves being here. We have an amazing relationship,” he said.