DeAndre Jordan has officially signed a four-year max deal with the Los Angeles Clippers, breaking his verbal agreement with the Dallas Mavericks.
I don't even have the words. But I'll try anyway.
Earlier today, news broke that DeAndre Jordan was reconsidering his decision to commit to the Mavericks, and the Clippers had requested another meeting with him. I'll spare you the various tweets and back and forth, but suffice it to say, this is an incredibly devastating blow to the Mavericks.
According to various reporters, this all started with either the Clippers reaching out to DeAndre on Monday, or DeAndre reaching out to Doc Rivers. Either Jordan was second guessing his decision, or the Clippers, in the face of seeing the various reports leaked about the Mavs' successful recruitment efforts and what the Clippers could have done better, figured they would, you know....ask for a second chance?
The meeting with the Clippers today in Houston reportedly featured Doc Rivers, Steve Ballmer, Chris Paul, J.J. Redick and Blake Griffin. Mark Cuban and Chandler Parsons also flew down to make their own last minute pitch, but apparently to no avail. This is the kind of thing that almost never happens in NBA free agency -- of course, Jason Kidd did it to the Mavericks a couple years ago, but a free agent of this magnitude making that kind of decision is the kind of thing that could have league-wide consequences in the form of rule changes.
Jordan's reverse-course has immediate consequences to the Mavs in a few ways. First, the Mavericks have approached the days following Jordan's decision as if he was coming to Dallas. This means that every free agent center beyond Tyson Chandler (who was Plan B) they may have otherwise made an offer to, is for the most part committed somewhere else. Roy Hibbert is committed to the Lakers, Kosta Koufos with Sacramento, you get the idea. So they'll need a center, and they'll likely have to make a trade (with....what assets?) to get one of any real use. Samuel Dalembert, anyone? It has been mentioned that the Mavericks will possibly pursue an already committed free agent like Hibbert -- if Jordan can renege on a deal, so can others.
Second, Cuban publicly stated in an interview with The Ticket that if the Mavericks "had" missed out on Jordan, they'd be basically tanking to avoid their top seven protected pick in next year's draft going to Boston (from the Rajon Rondo deal). So that is potentially in play now, unless an alternate plan makes itself clear.
Finally, it's unclear what this means for the immediate (past this coming season) futures of Dirk Nowitzki, Chandler Parsons, and Rick Carlisle -- all of whom probably would decide to go different directions if the franchise enters a full-rebuild mode.
(In a bit of silver linings news, it seems Wes Matthews is on board regardless. That's awfully nice of him to keep his word. I like him.)
These are, of course, just a few of the consequences for the team, but they are real and immediate ones that could drastically alter course for Dallas, whose future looked so bright just a day ago. Stay tuned. Things have officially become ugly.