The pieces were in place Thursday, and theLos Angeles Clippersthought they were close to a deal that would have sent starting center DeAndre Jordan to theCavaliers,when news surfaced of the blockbuster trade that Cleveland instead had with theLakers, sources have told ESPN's Brian Windhorst.
After dealingBlake Griffin to the Detroit Pistonson 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 sentIsaiah Thomas, Channing Fryeand aprotected first-round 2018 draft pick to the Lakers. Cleveland also made trades involving Utah, Sacramento and Miami.
Jordan, after two years without an agent, hirednew representation late last yearwith 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.
Clippers thought deal with Cavs close at hand for DeAndre Jordan