As one of the residential historians here at Mavs Moneyball, I am here to inform you that the Dallas Mavericks had a verbal agreement from DeAndre Jordan to join the team two years ago.
Please lower your torches and pitchforks.
The future was bright for the Mavericks, who were able to pry Jordan away from the Los Angeles Clippers for five days, only to watch him slither back to the L.A. contingent and throw Dallas’ future in limbo. There’s no need to go in-depth on this. I’m still waiting on someone to write a book on this.
The once-bleak future of the Mavericks — being strapped to the albatross that is Wesley Matthews’ max contract, unable to lure lucrative free agents beyond 2015, and giving Dwight Powell a freaking near-$10-million contract — is now bright. The Mavericks have finally come out of the positive end of this once-agonizing spectrum.
The Mavericks and Clippers have combined for zero playoff series wins since 2015. Los Angeles has the edge in playoff appearances (by one, because, sure), but the idea of bringing Jordan back was for L.A. to do that winning-a-championship thing for a franchise that’s never been to the Western Conference Finals. Lob City was supposed to be running wild throughout the NBA, right?
Remember when the rumblings of Jordan possibly leaving L.A. were a thing? Jordan and Chris Paul had a falling out. It was so bad, Jordan was throwing dirt into the Lob City grave long before June 28. I envision Doc Rivers grabbing Paul by the neck the following Monday after Jordan committed to Dallas and channeling his inner Roddy Piper from “They Live.”
“I’m giving you a choice. Either make up with DeAndre, or start eating that trash can,” or something like that.
Everyone made up, they removed the chair barricade from DeAndre’s house and all was good...until one week ago, when the Clippers traded Paul to the Houston Rockets, thus ending Lob City with a loud thud. The Clippers even put Jordan on the trading block in hopes for the No. 4 pick in the NBA Draft, held by the Phoenix Suns.
Oh, and the Clippers signed Blake Griffin to $34 million per year for the next five years.
Meanwhile, the Mavericks have embraced the future that once looked apocalyptic. Harrison Barnes, who was signed by the Mavericks one year ago today, has become a damn good player. At some point this century, Dallas will re-sign Nerlens Noel as its center for the future. Hell, the Mavericks even drafted well and got Dennis Smith Jr. with the ninth pick.
We are in the twilight zone.
Dirk Nowitzki can still get buckets and he’ll get buckets of money this summer from Dallas, again, when this is all done. Seth Curry showed promise, Yogi Ferrell was a good thing that happened. All these things point to a bright future for the Dallas Mavericks.
And it highlights a positive trend for Dallas in terms of teambuilding. First, Deron Williams, then Dwight Howard, then DeAndre. All three passed on Dallas. One doesn’t have a team yet, the other is on his third team in three years, and DeAndre could see another early playoff exit next year. Dallas may not have any championships to show for it, but it’s in a better position to thrive for the future than those players.
You all can come outside now and embrace the warm sun and blue skies, because the Mavericks survived this abomination much sooner than anyone thought they would.
Now, if they could just trade Dwight Powell.