Love him or hate him, Mark Cuban got fleeced.
The Dallas Mavericks’ owner agreed last week to give free-agent center DeAndre Jordan $80 million over four seasons to lure him from the Los Angeles Clippers.
We figured the billionaire could afford to overpay for a big man who averaged 15.0 rebounds last season but has a limited offensive game. Sure, he made 71.0 percent of his shots, because most were dunks, but he made just 39.7 percent of his free throws, which made him a liability in the playoffs.
Then, just hours before contracts could be signed, Jordan, 26, reneged on his verbal agreement, deciding to stay with the Clippers after being wooed – held captive? – at his Houston home by coach Doc Rivers and players Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, J.J. Redick and Paul Pierce.
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Jordan reportedly refused to talk to Cuban and the Mavericks, who had hoped to sway him back to Dallas.
The bizarre evening become even more absurd when Griffin tweeted a photo of a chair lodged against a doorknob, we assume at Jordan’s home. “Don’t agree with the furniture layout,” Griffin wrote, “but I’m not an interior designer.”
All joking aside, Jordan’s reversal, while legal, is lame. He had a deal with the Mavericks and likely would have signed a contract if the NBA didn’t have a moratorium that ended Wednesday at 9:01 p.m.
Instead, since Jordan agreed to the deal with Dallas last Friday, these big men have made commitments or been acquired: LaMarcus Aldridge, Spurs; David Lee, Celtics; Robin Lopez, Knicks; Roy Hibbert, Lakers; David West, Spurs; Bismack Biyombo, Raptors; and Kosta Koufos, Kings.
If Jordan had told the Mavs earlier in the week, they could have pursued other free agents. Instead, they are about $20 million under the salary cap, and all the quality bigs have committed elsewhere.
Isn’t it time the NBA modified its free-agency and moratorium rules?
Tom Couzens: 916-321-1097, firstname.lastname@example.org, @tomcouzens
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- TWITTER CHATTER:“Dallas getting a blessing in disguise IMK. DeAndre Jordan is not a franchise player that you build your future around.” – @PrinceHAK33M
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