Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, we pose a question to a panel of ESPN fantasy basketball experts to gauge their thoughts on a hot topic.
Today's contributors are ESPN Fantasy's Joe Kaiser, Jim McCormick and Kyle Soppe.
Trade buzz surrounding DeAndre Jordan has picked up with the LA Clippers seemingly headed deep into the lottery. If he were traded, do you think he would maintain most of his fantasy value, regardless of which team he might land on?
Jim McCormick: The premise for Jordan as a difference-maker in fantasy is tied to being dominant in three key categories: field goal percentage, rebounding and blocks. Jordan has maintained elite rates in the first two categories this season but is posting a career-low block rate of 3.1 percent, which measures the percentage of opposing shots blocked while on the floor. For context, Jordan sports a 5.1 percent career block rate.
I wonder if this is a downward trend for his defensive acumen or merely some noise over a small 22-game sample. Either way, I think any team that pays a sizable price in a trade package will likely deploy Jordan as the same glass-cleaning rim-runner who has proved so helpful to fantasy teams -- that were able to bear his awful free throw rate -- over the years.
I think we can expect Jordan to replicate his elite production as the roll man in the pick-and-roll, given he'll almost surely net an upgrade in point guard play in a new destination; he's hitting 74.1 percent of his shots on such actions this season.
I'm not sure Jordan has many more years of this level of production, but he's 56th on the Player Rater currently despite the dip in defensive production, which signals he's a fairly high-floor player. Jordan is really good at what he's good at and continues to be terrible at the line. I'm not sure that changes even if his jersey does.
Kyle Soppe: The short answer here is yes. Jordan's skill set is what it is, and any team that is flirting with him knows exactly what he is/isn't capable of.
In a perfect world, I'd like to see him moved to a team with a solid jump-shooting nucleus (Cleveland for example), as that would maximize his interior usage more than a slashing team (like Milwaukee), but regardless of where he winds up, you're looking at a walking double-double who will boost your field goal percentage and give you in the neighborhood of 2.0 blocks-plus-steals.
He's great at what he does, and his limitations are well known, so there simply isn't a wide range of outcomes should the city on the front of his jersey change.
Joe Kaiser: I don't think it really matters where Jordan is traded, because the chances are high that his new team would use him similarly to the way he's played with the Clippers all these years.
Jordan is somewhat of a throwback big man who blocks shots and rebounds as well as just about anyone in the game today, but offensively he is a low-usage option who gets most of his baskets on dunks and put-backs.
I don't envision any trade suitor looking to acquire Jordan with the plan of limiting his role or reducing his minutes.