Clippers thought deal with Cavs close at hand for DeAndre Jordan

The pieces were in place Thursday, and the Los Angeles Clippers thought they were close to a deal that would have sent starting center DeAndre Jordan to the Cavaliers, when news surfaced of the blockbuster trade that Cleveland instead had with the Lakers, sources have told ESPN's Brian Windhorst.

After dealing Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons on Jan. 29, the Clippers continued to explore trade opportunities for Jordan ahead of Thursday's deadline, targeting young players and draft picks.

Instead, the Clippers stood pat, and the Cavaliers sent Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye and a protected first-round 2018 draft pick to the Lakers. Cleveland also made trades involving Utah, Sacramento and Miami.

Jordan, after two years without an agent, hired new representation late last year with trade discussions imminent and free agency possible this summer.

Jordan had served as the Clippers' most valuable healthy trade asset as they reach a team-building crossroads.

In 2015, after initially committing to the Dallas Mavericks, Jordan changed course and signed a four-year, $87 million deal to stay with the Clippers. He is expected to opt out of the fourth year of the deal, worth $24 million in 2018-19, to become a free agent this summer.