The days of “Own the Future’’ are clearly over for the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Bucks, whose marketing campaign the last couple of years has centered around the team’s core of talented young players, have noticeably switched gears to a win-now mode.
The Bucks recently acquired veteran guard Eric Bledsoe from the Phoenix Suns, and now the scuttlebutt around the league is they are making a concerted push to acquire veteran center DeAndre Jordan from the Los Angeles Clippers.
Jordan’s name has been mentioned in trade rumors for several weeks and, as one might expect, there isn’t a shortage of teams interested in him. According to sources, the Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards, Minnesota Timberwolves and Bucks have shown the most interest in Jordan.
Sources said Clipper officials have targeted three Bucks in any deal for Jordan. One is John Henson, who is currently the team’s starting center, while the others are reigning Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon, who lost his starting spot when Bledsoe came aboard, and standout swingman Khris Middleton.
The Clippers, I’ve been told, are adamant in acquiring at least two of the aforementioned Bucks and may even demand all three of them.
From a contractual standpoint, Jordan is being paid $22.64 million this season. Middleton and Henson are collecting $14M and $11M, respectively, while Brogdon is being paid $1.31M this season.
The Bucks have let it be known throughout the league that they want to add a physical big man to their roster, a void that was created when they dealt Greg Monroe and future draft picks to Phoenix for Bledsoe.
There has also been ongoing chatter the Bucks are interested in Philadelphia’s Jahlil Okafor, who is being shopped for a first-round draft choice, as well as Phoenix center Tyson Chandler, who has a good rapport with Bucks coach Jason Kidd and whom the Bucks had looked into trading for in the past.
But none of those centers would remotely impact the Bucks as much as Jordan, one of the game’s elite defensive big men. The 6-foot-11 Jordan has averaged at least 13.6 rebounds per game for the last five seasons. This season, the 29-year-old Jordan is averaging 13.8 boards to go along with 1.1 blocks and 9.9 points.
The Clippers have gotten off to a rough start this season with an 8-12 record. What’s more, their star power forward Blake Griffin is expected to be sidelined approximately eight weeks with a medial collateral ligament sprain.
When asked if he thought the Clippers would be inclined to deal Jordan anytime soon, a source said, “Who knows what the Clippers will? The trading deadline isn’t until February, but they know they’re not going anywhere this season. They’re going to be making a lot of changes. They’re rebuilding.’’