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DeAndre Jordan

Image via USA TODAY Sports / Troy Taormina

Summer League stats: 4 games, 25.8 MPG, 7.7 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 1.2 BPG, 4 Fouls Per Game, 41.7 FT%
Career stats: 26.1 MPG, 8 PPG, 9 RPG, 1.7 BPG, 41.7 FT%

Considering that Jordan just signed a four-year/$80 million contract, it’s difficult to remember that Jordan was once a lowly sought-after second-round pick who struggled in the Summer League. Nevertheless, in 2008, Jordan had difficulty grasping the nuances of the pro game en route to an uneventful Las Vegas summer league that saw him net averages of 7.7 points and rebounds per game. Moreover, Jordan looked ill-equipped to become an elite defender, averaging four fouls per contest, in only 25.8 minutes per game. After his introductory showing in the Summer League, Jordan looked like a freakish athlete playing basketball, rather than a basketball player, who happened to be an elite athlete.

And for a while after that uninspiring showing, Jordan looked destined for to be another lifelong “project” big man, who would never live up to his physical tools. But following the arrival of Chris Paul in 2011, and then Doc Rivers in 2013, Jordan began to erase memories of his so-so summer league debut, morphing himself into an elite rim protector and dunker. In his previous two seasons in Los Angeles, Jordan went bonkers, averaging 10.9 points, 14.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game. Now a far cry from the 19-year-old who looked lost on an NBA court, and officially back with the Clippers, Jordan is ready to help lift Los Angeles to a long-sought title.