Clip­pers deny shop­ping Jor­dan

They get Thorn­well and Evans as ru­mors of an at­tempt to trade Jor­dan abound.

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Brod­er­ick Turner brod­er­ick.turner@la­times.com

Team buys rights to a pair of picks, but has to deal with ru­mors about All-Star cen­ter.

When Clip­pers ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of bas­ket­ball op­er­a­tions Lawrence Frank stood be­fore the me­dia late Thurs­day night to dis­cuss the team buy­ing its way into the NBA draft, he was forced to pivot to­ward the ru­mors about the team look­ing to trade cen­ter DeAn­dre Jor­dan.

Frank de­nied the Clip­pers had been shop­ping Jor­dan, even though sev­eral league ex­ec­u­tives who were not au­tho­rized to speak pub­licly on the mat­ter said there were dis­cus­sions about a deal for Jor­dan that went nowhere.

Frank went on to talk about the Clip­pers buy­ing Milwaukee’s sec­ond-round pick at No. 48 and then se­lect­ing South Carolina guard Sin­dar­ius Thorn­well.

The Clip­pers also pur­chased another sec­on­dround pick from Philadel­phia, choos­ing Ok­la­homa State point guard Jawun Evans at 39. How­ever, the deal for Evans is not of­fi­cial and can’t be an­nounced un­til July 6, when the NBA’s mora­to­rium is lifted.

But the big news of the night was Frank say­ing the Clip­pers “never, ever dan­gled” Jor­dan “out there” in trade talks.

But ac­cord­ing to one ex­ec­u­tive, the Clip­pers talked to the Pis­tons about swap­ping cen­ters, Jor­dan for Detroit’s An­dre Drum­mond. But the ex­ec­u­tive said Detroit’s owner nixed the deal be­cause he wanted to keep Drum­mond.

The Bos­ton Celtics, Phoenix Suns and Min­nesota Tim­ber­wolves also had dis­cus­sions with the Clip­pers about Jor­dan, ac­cord­ing to the ex­ec­u­tives, but none of the teams were willThorn­well ing to give up first-round draft picks.

“DeAn­dre is the cor­ner­stone to what we do,” Frank said. “And it’s funny. If you track every ru­mor, lit­er­ally every sin­gle player out­side maybe the play­ers on Golden State and LeBron [James], were men­tioned. So, in the front of­fice, what we’ve learned quickly is you can’t dis­pel ev­ery­thing. We love DJ. DJ is go­ing to be here for a long, long time as far as we’re con­cerned.”

is a 6-foot-5 guard who led South Carolina to the Fi­nal Four. He av­er­aged 14.7 points dur­ing his four-year ca­reer. The Clip­pers paid about $2.5 mil­lion to buy the pick from the Bucks to take Thorn­well.

“What we iden­ti­fied early on is we wanted to add tough, com­pet­i­tive, hard­play­ing, high bas­ket­ball-IQ play­ers to com­ple­ment our team,” Frank said.

Sue Ogrocki As­so­ci­ated Press

OK­LA­HOMA STATE’S Jawun Evans was cho­sen with the 39th pick in the draft by the Clip­pers, who pur­chased a pick from Philadel­phia. The deal is not of­fi­cial.

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