3:33pm: The deal includes a player option after year three, tweets Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times.
3:20pm: The Clippers have been told of Jordan’s decision to sign with Dallas, too, reports Dan Woike of the Orange County Register (on Twitter).
2:55pm: DeAndre Jordan has told the Mavericks he’s signing with them, sources tell Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). The sought-after center plans to announce the news tonight, reports Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, who adds that it’ll be a four-year, $80MM deal (Twitter links). Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link) reported minutes earlier that the Dan Fegan client was on the verge of accepting an offer from the Mavericks, pegging it at that same four-year, $80MM mark, which appears to represent the max. Dallas has been extremely optimistic, as Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com tweeted shortly after Stein’s report. It would be a profound disappointment for the Clippers and represent a miss for the Lakers, too. Jordan’s representatives have already told the Knicks they’re out of the running, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
The options for the Clippers are limited, since they couldn’t generate a trade exception for the full value of Jordan’s starting salary even if they could convince the Mavs to work a sign-and-trade, because he’s getting a raise of better than 20%, notes Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter). It’s a vestige of the base-year compensation rules that would cap the value of the exception at Jordan’s previous salary of slightly more than $11.44MM. That wouldn’t be enough for the Clippers to trade for David Lee, Roy Hibbert or Nene without matching salaries. The Clippers don’t have enough cap flexibility to sign a comparable replacement.
MacMahon first reported Jordan’s extreme interest in signing with Dallas back in April. That was in spite of Jordan’s clear affection for Clippers coach/executive Doc Rivers. Still, Jordan made it clear even in the spring that the Clippers weren’t necessarily the favorites as he approached unrestricted free agency for the first time in his career. Jordan was concerned about how the Clippers roster would age over time, and Blake Griffin‘s ability to reach free agency himself in two years, as Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com reported overnight. The center also reportedly didn’t see eye-to-eye with Chris Paul, though there were conflicting reports on just how much of a factor that was. Jordan was also apparently tired of playing third wheel behind Griffin and Paul.
The Clippers nonetheless seemed to impress in their meeting with him Thursday, but so did the Mavs, and owner Mark Cuban and recruiter extraordinaire Chandler Parsons met with Jordan again this morning, tweets Arash Markazi of ESPN.com. Dallas, once the deal becomes official following the July Moratorium, will land the sort of star free agent target it’s missed out on ever since it won the title in 2011. The Mavs will take him into cap space, barring any sign-and-trade developments. Jordan’s deal, put together with the roughly $13MM that Wesley Matthews will reportedly see this coming season on his contract with Dallas, likely closes off the team’s cap flexibility, limiting it to the $2.814MM room exception for outside free agents who want more than the minimum.