DeAndre Jordan

Mavericks Notes: Jordan, Smith, Doncic

The success of the DeAndre Jordan signing will be determined by how well he can work in the pick and roll with Dennis Smith and Luka Doncic, writes Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. Adding Jordan on a one-year, $22.9MM contract and moving up in the draft to take Doncic were the major offseason moves for a team that finished 23 games out of the playoff race.

Jordan not only solves the Mavericks’ rebounding problem — he’s led the league twice in that category and averaged a career best 15.2 boards per game last season — he adds an extra dimension to coach Rick Carlisle’s offense. Jordan has shot better than 60% from the field in each of his 10 NBA seasons and mastered the pick and roll with Chris Paul in Los Angeles.

There’ more today out of Dallas:

  • Improving his 3-point shot is the best way for Smith to avoid a sophomore slump, Sefko writes in a separate player profile. Smith shot just 31% from long distance last season, and defenders figure to give him more space as they try to cut off his drives to the basket. Sefko notes that Smith didn’t wear down during his first season in the league, with his scoring, assists and shooting percentages over the final 15 games all rating better than his season averages.
  • The Mavericks insist Doncic can be a difference maker, but it’s going to be a while before we know for sure, Sefko writes in another profile. Dallas made a bold move to trade up to the No. 3 spot in the draft to acquire Doncic and team him with Smith in its backcourt of the future. Although he cautions it will take at least another year, Sefko expects Doncic and Smith to develop into the foundation of a playoff team.
  • Doncic will be a strong candidate for Rookie of the Year honors, though he’ll get noticed more for his passing than scoring, writes Matt Mosley of The Dallas Morning News. He compares Doncic to Sixers guard Ben Simmons and suggests that the Knicks’ Kevin Knox may be a surprise winner of this year’s ROY honors.

Mavs Notes: Jordan, Marion, Doncic, Mejri, Barea

As part of an ongoing series in anticipation of Mavericks training camp starting later this month, Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News asks whether newly-acquired All-Star big man DeAndre Jordan is on the downslope of his career.

Now a 10-year veteran, Jordan actually averaged 12.0 points and a career-best 15.2 rebounds per game last season for the Clippers, but the team did not perform well, finishing 10th in the always tough Western Conference. Moreover, Jordan’s field goal percentage of .645, while still excellent, was his lowest output since the the 2012/13 season.

While it remains to be seen if Jordan’s game is on the decline, the Mavericks at least somewhat hedged their bet by only signing Jordan to a one-year contract for the 2018/19 season, which will allow the club opportunity to see how Jordan meshes with relative youngsters Dennis Smith Jr., Luka Doncic and Harrison Barnes.

If Jordan ends up descending into the twilight of his career, the Mavs can simply let him go next summer. But if he can continue to average a double-double and be near the top of the NBA in rebounds and field goal percentage again this season, Sefko opines that the Mavericks will gladly re-sign Jordan next summer at whatever price tag is needed.

There’s more from Dallas:

  • Now that the 2018 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame class has been enshrined in Springfield, Joe Nguyen of The Denver Post takes a look at some candidates for election next year. Among the first time candidates is do-it-all forward Shawn Marion, who helped the Mavericks win an NBA Championship in 2011.
  • In an appearance on KRLD-FM, Dirk Nowitzki (per Sportando) presented a glowing endorsement of Doncic, admitting that the Slovenian rookie is better than Dirk was at the same age. “Oh yeah (he’s better). I could shoot a little bit but I never had the court vision … the savviness that he brings to the game… He’s going to be fun to watch especially with bigs like DeAndre (Jordan) and Dwight (Powell) rolling to the rim … He’s going to pick defenses apart and it’s going to be fun to watch.”
  • In another piece for The Dallas Morning News, Sefko profiles big man Salah Mejri and his role on the Mavs this upcoming season. Mejri, 32, signed a one-year contract for the veteran’s minimum this offseason. And even though the addition of Jordan won’t do any favors for Mejri’s playing time, the Tunisian big man will be ready to play when needed, as always.
  • In yet another player profile piece, Sefko opines that backup point guard J.J. Barea may be one of the most underrated Mavericks of all time. Barring injury, Barea will later this season become the seventh player in Mavs history to play in 600 games with the franchise.

Southwest Rumors: Davis, Jordan, Conley, Hartenstein

Anthony Davis learned that DeMarcus Cousins was joining the Warriors while watching TV and didn’t see it coming, Scott Kushner of the Baton Rouge Advocate relays. Davis’ comments were made during a CBS-TV interview.

The Pelicans‘ superstar big man understood why Cousins decided to take a one-year deal with Golden State after entering free agency with hopes of a max contract offer.

“I was a little shocked. But I know DeMarcus, and I know he made the best decision for him and his career at that time and for his family,” Davis said. “Of course, I definitely would’ve loved for that to keep going. But at that point, I wasn’t sure what was going on with his situation or what was going through his head. It’s a lot, coming from being traded and then feeling like you deserve a max contract, and then you tear your Achilles. It was a tough situation; it’s tough on him.”

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • Mavericks center DeAndre Jordan isn’t expected to show up at the USA Basketball minicamp this week, Dwain Price of Mavs.com tweets. Jordan wasn’t at the camp on Thursday and is likely to remain absent on Friday, Price adds.
  • Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley is participating at the minicamp but will not compete in full scrimmages or contact drills, Michael Wallace of the Grizzlies’ website reports. Conley said his foot and heel are pain-free for the first time in two years after undergoing season-ending surgery in January.
  • Isaiah Hartenstein‘s three-year contract with the Rockets is fully guaranteed next season, has a partial guarantee the second year, and a non-guaranteed third year, Michael Scotto of The Athletic tweets. The 7-footer, a 2017 second-round selection, signed the contract on Wednesday after playing in the G League last season. He posted averages of 10.3 PPG, 8.0 RPG, and 2.3 BPG in four summer league games with Houston earlier this month.
  • Dirk Nowitzki‘s one-year contract with the Mavericks does not contain a no-trade clause because he has automatic veto rights over any trade as a One-Year Bird, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets. Nowitzki signed the $5MM deal this week.

Mavs Notes: Jordan, Doncic, Finley, Koponen

Many NBA observers were surprised to see the Mavericks pursue DeAndre Jordan again, three years after he spurned them in free agency by backing out a verbal agreement with Dallas to rejoin the Clippers. However, team owner Mark Cuban said it only took him and Jordan a matter of seconds to smooth things over, as Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com details.

“There’s like four guys I hold grudges with, and three of them are from grade school, maybe even before,” Cuban told MacMahon. “I just want to win. Look, only Dirk [Nowitzki] and J.J. [Barea] were there from that period anyway. All of our guys were like, ‘Go get him! Go get him!

“I talked to him on the phone and he’s like, ‘Everything behind us?’ I’m like, ‘Let’s go win.’ He goes, ‘Let’s go to war.’ Done.”

According to Cuban, the team and Jordan mutually agreed that a one-year deal was the best route to take, with both sides planning to use the 2018/19 season to assess the potential for a long-term fit. Cuban also noted that the Mavericks explored the possibility of adding DeMarcus Cousins, but felt like Jordan gave the club a better chance to “win now” than a player coming off an Achilles tear.

“You don’t want to put somebody in a position where they have to rush back, and the Warriors obviously don’t have to deal with that,” Cuban said. “I was happy for him. A lot of people talk trash about [Cousins], but we thought he would have been great. But I wanted to win now, and that’s what I told his guys.”

Here’s more on the Mavs:

  • Cuban also spoke to MacMahon about No. 3 overall pick Luka Doncic, whom the Mavericks owner called “the top player on our board.” Cuban added that “it wasn’t even close.”
  • Speaking of Doncic, the Mavericks have agreed to terms with Real Madrid on his buyout agreement, tweets international basketball reporter David Pick. Doncic should be on track to finalize his rookie contract and officially join the Mavs soon.
  • Mavericks executive Michael Finley received a promotion in the front office this week, according to Dwain Price of Mavs.com (Twitter link). Formerly Dallas’ assistant vice president of basketball operations, Finley was named the Mavs’ VP of basketball operations.
  • In a move that has been a formality for the last several years, the Mavericks removed Petteri Koponen‘s cap hold from their books this week, per RealGM’s official transactions log. Dallas still has the NBA rights to Koponen, a 2007 first-round pick, so in order to remove his cap hold each season, the team and player have to agree to that he won’t be signing with the Mavs for the current league year.

DeAndre Jordan Signs One-Year Deal With Mavs

JULY 7, 7:38am: Jordan’s new salary will be $22.9MM, but he won’t actually be taking a pay cut due to the lack of state income taxes in Texas, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com. MacMahon also relays comments from Mark Cuban on the signing, with the Mavs owner explaining that Jordan gives the team the best chance to “win now.”

JULY 6, 5:50pm: The signing is official, according to Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News.

JUNE 30, 11:26pm: According to Jordan Schultz of Yahoo Sports, Jordan’s one-year deal is worth slightly less than the $24.1MM option he turned down in Los Angeles.

11:06pm: The Mavericks have agreed on a one-year deal with DeAndre Jordan, Marc Stein of The New York Times tweets. The verbal agreement is said to approach the $24.1MM mark, the amount Jordan surrendered on Friday when he turned down his player option with the Clippers.

The acquisition of Jordan is a long time coming for the Mavs – like, since Emojigate long – but the idea of the pairing picked up steam when the Texas-born big man shut the door on a return to Los Angeles by turning down his 2018/19 option.

The Mavs ensured that they would have plenty of cap space available with which to convince Jordan to join them when they turned down the 2018/19 team option on Dirk Nowitzki‘s contract.

It’s unclear exactly what the final figure for the one-year deal with Jordan will be, but Dallas had approximately $28MM to offer him. With the former Clipper apparently on track to join the Mavs, the club is probably out of the market for several other noteworthy big men that have been linked to Dallas in recent weeks — that list includes Julius Randle and DeMarcus Cousins, among others.

Jordan, fresh off of his fifth consecutive season averaging a double-double, will slot into Dallas’ suddenly impressive lineup and should give franchise pillar Nowitzki a significantly greater chance of playing competitive basketball in the twilight of his career.

Jordan was the 10th-ranked player on our list of the top 50 free agents of 2018.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Warriors Interested In Jordan, Mavs Remain Favorites

The Warriors intend to make a run at Clippers center DeAndre Jordan in free agency despite their salary-cap restrictions, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets.

Jordan would have to accept their $5.3MM taxpayer mid-level exception, a huge drop from the $24.1MM he left on the table when he decided to opt out on Friday. While Jordan’s salary would be modest, such a move would wind up costing the Warriors closer to $27MM due to luxury taxes, Stein notes (Twitter link). Jordan is close friends with Kevin Durant and a former client of Golden State GM Bob Myers.

Dropping Jordan, one of the league’s premier rebounders, into the Warriors’ starting five would complete a star-studded lineup and ensure they’d be championship favorites once again no matter where LeBron James winds up.

Jordan would have to sacrifice a boatload of money for the opportunity to chase a ring. The Mavericks have made Jordan their top priority and have approximately $28MM to offer him. That makes Dallas a strong favorite to land him, Stein adds (Twitter link).

The chances of Jordan returning to the Clippers, as he did during his last free agent foray in 2015, seem remote. The team even tweeted a ‘Thank You, DeAndre!’ after his opt-out decision. They acquired veteran center Marcin Gortat from the Wizards earlier this week.

Mavs Decline Nowitzki’s Option, Will Offer New Deal

The Mavericks will decline Dirk Nowitzki‘s $5MM team option in order to open up more salary-cap space, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets. Dallas plans to work out a new contract with Nowitzki, who mutually agreed to the decision, Stein adds.

This will give the Mavericks more wiggle room to pursue free agents, with DeAndre Jordan at the top of their wish list after he decided to opt out of his contract with the Clippers.

Dallas could have as much as $28-30MM in cap space, salary-cap enthusiast Albert Nahmad tweets.

Nowitzki has said he’d like to play at least one more season. Among the ways the Mavericks could re-sign him is by using their room-level exception, which is projected at $4.4MM in the first year of the contract.

DeAndre Jordan To Opt Out, Become Free Agent

Clippers center DeAndre Jordan will opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent on Sunday, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets.

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.

DeAndre Jordan Still Weighing Option Decision

3:53pm: Marc Stein of The New York Times, who initially reported that the Clippers were resistant to taking on Matthews in a trade with the Mavericks, now hears from one source that L.A. wouldn’t necessarily be opposed to the idea (Twitter link). That should keep the trade talks between the two teams alive.

3:25pm: With tonight’s deadline looming, Clippers center DeAndre Jordan is still weighing whether or not to exercise his $24.12MM option for 2018/19, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

As we’ve detailed throughout the week, the Clippers and Mavericks have engaged in discussions on a trade that would involve Jordan picking up his option and being sent to Dallas. However, the two sides have been unable to agree on the terms of that deal, with one report suggesting that Los Angeles isn’t interested in taking on Wesley Matthews, who would be the preferred outgoing piece from the Mavs’ perspective.

According to Wojnarowski, trade talks between the Clips and Mavs could pick up again, but they’ve been “dormant” today. That could leave Jordan with a decision to make before tonight 11:59pm ET deadline, and two potential roads to take.

One path would be to opt out of his contract and explore a new deal with the Mavs – or another team – in free agency. Jordan could lock in a longer-term agreement in that scenario, but would likely have to accept a more modest starting salary than his $24MM+ option salary. Additionally, Dallas would have to use most or all of its available cap room to sign the big man as a free agent. If they were instead able to trade for him using another sizable contract like Matthews’, the Mavs could retain cap space for another move.

The alternative for Jordan would be to pick up his option today, even without a trade agreement in place. In that scenario, he and his representatives could continue to work with the Clippers on a potential trade, or he could simply prepare to return to L.A. for one more season before reaching the open market in 2019.

Jordan is the last veteran with a player option decision to make, as our tracker shows. So far, 20 of 27 players holding options have decided to exercise them, a stark contrast from the last two offseasons, when just eight of 53 players opted in.

Trade Rumors: Clippers, Mavs, Richardson, Lakers

The Clippers aren’t overly interested in taking back Wesley Matthews in a trade sending DeAndre Jordan to the Mavericks, reports Marc Stein of The New York Times (via Twitter). Los Angeles’ reluctance to accept Matthews makes some sense — while his salary is a little more affordable than Jordan’s, his contract expires at the same time, and the veteran swingman doesn’t really fill a major need for the Clips.

In order to work out a deal with the Clippers, the Mavericks will have to come up with an alternative trade scenario for Jordan, Stein notes. However, if the two sides can’t reach an agreement, that doesn’t necessarily mean Dallas is out of the running for Jordan, since the standout center could always decline his player option and sign with the Mavs as a free agent. If Dallas can work out a trade for Jordan, the team could theoretically preserve a good chunk of its cap room for another signing.

Here are a few more trade-related rumors from around the NBA:

  • Several teams called the Heat to inquire about Josh Richardson during the draft, but Miami showed no interest in moving him, sources tell ESPN’s Zach Lowe. If the Heat hope to re-sign Wayne Ellington or use their mid-level exception, they’ll almost certainly have to shed salary, but Richardson isn’t a player the club is willing to lose.
  • The Suns made Marquese Chriss available in trade talks on draft night, according to Lowe. The ESPN.com scribe adds that the Suns, who are in the market for a point guard this summer, have yet to show any interest in trading for Dennis Schroder of the Hawks.
  • Multiple sources tell Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post that the Lakers and Nuggets have discussed a trade that would send unwanted salary and a draft pick to Los Angeles. Reports earlier this week indicated that the Lakers were exploring ways to acquire another first-round pick to sweeten a potential offer for Kawhi Leonard.
  • In a piece for ESPN.com, Bobby Marks examines some of the more intriguing expiring contracts and trade chips around the NBA.