Jordan can negotiate a long-term contract with the Mavericks, who were engaged in trade talks with the Clippers to acquire him if he opted in. Dallas was unwilling to give up draft picks in a potential trade and preferred to pursue the veteran big man in free agency, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets.
Jordan’s decision to leave $24.1MM on the table still doesn’t give the Clippers a large amount of cap space. In fact, as Bobby Marks of ESPN points out, the maximum amount of room they could open up is $13.6MM but they’d have to waive two point guards, Milos Teodosic and Patrick Beverley, to make that happen. If the Clippers stay over the cap, they’d still their $8.6MM mid-level and $3.4MM bi-annual exceptions at their disposal.
However, they could have as much as $60MM in cap space next summer, Marks adds in another tweet.
Of course, the Mavericks have been down this road before with one of the league’s premier rebounders. Jordan, who averaged 12.0 and a career-best 15.2 RPG last season, famously reneged on a verbal agreement with Dallas in the summer of 2015 to remain in L.A. However, the Mavericks are intent on getting a premier center and probably won’t have a lot of competition to get him to sign the dotted line the second time around.