Another layer can be added to the DeAndre Jordan free-agency saga. The Los Angeles Clippers have been fined $250,000 for violating NBA rules by offering an improper third-party endorsement opportunity during a presentation to Jordan on July 2, the league announced Tuesday.
That endorsement was reportedly with Lexus, according to the Los Angeles Times' Broderick Turner.
Apparently the Clippers offered DeAndre Jordan an endorsement deal with Lexus for $200,000 a year that NBA frowned upon, per source.— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) August 25, 2015
As part of its anti-circumvention rules, the NBA strictly prohibits teams from providing or arranging for a third party of any kind to provide any form of compensation unless it's included in a player contract or expressly permitted in the collective bargaining agreement.
Section 1(b) of Article XIII in the 2011 CBA specifically states: "It shall constitute a violation of Section 1(a) above for a Team (or Team Affiliate) to enter into an agreement or understanding with any sponsor or business partner or third-party under which such sponsor, business partner or third-party pays or agrees to pay compensation for basketball services (even if such compensation is ostensibly designated as being for non-basketball services) to a player under Contract to the Team."
It's unclear what the Clippers offered Jordan or if he was ever willing to accept the endorsement opportunity, but the NBA's investigation ultimately concluded that it didn't have an impact on Jordan's decision to re-sign with the Clippers. Jordan committed to the Dallas Mavericks the day after that presentation was made, but he soon began having second thoughts about his decision.
Jordan spoke to Blake Griffin on July 6 about his mixed emotions, and he decided on July 7 that he wanted to meet with the Clippers again. The following day, a large Clippers contingent descended on Jordan's home in Houston before he officially re-signed with Los Angeles on July 9.