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#pounditFriday, July 23, 2021

DeAndre Jordan signing with Mavericks

deandre-jordan

The DeAndre Jordan era is officially over for the Los Angeles Clippers as the free agent center has reportedly agreed to sign with the Dallas Mavericks.

ESPN insider Marc Stein first broke the news of the imminent deal, a 4-year, $80 million agreement, via Twitter early Friday afternoon.

The report was later confirmed by Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.

An official announcement from Jordan is expected to come by Friday night.

It’s a huge blow for the Clippers, who remained confident in their ability to re-sign Jordan throughout the process and were reportedly shocked by his decision.

Though he makes Dwight Howard look like Steve Nash at the free throw line, the 26-year-old’s rim protection, interior toughness, elite production on the glass, overwhelming athleticism, and touch around the rim are essentially irreplaceable for the Clippers who anchored their entire defensive identity around Jordan. Now Doc Rivers is left without meaningful cap space with which to find a replacement for Jordan. Having already spent the mini-midlevel exception on 37-year-old Paul Pierce, the Clippers’ best course of action now is to somehow contrive a three-way sign-and-trade with Dallas and Indiana involving Jordan and Monta Ellis, with Roy Hibbert potentially heading to Lob City.

Jordan’s decision does not make a lot of sense from a basketball standpoint as the Clippers could offer him more money, more long-term security, a more championship-ready roster, and continuity. But selfish motives may have come into play here with Jordan reportedly looking for a bigger role offensively. It could be argued that Jordan, a Texas native, did signed with the Mavs in large part for the personal glory and the spotlight of playing in front of his hometown fans.

Plus those rumors of a rift with resident Point God Chris Paul might have been much worse than we all thought.

Though Chandler Parsons’ exploits as a recruiter are beginning to convince me that he might be a better fit for the Shark Tank than Mark Cuban himself, it’s hard to envision Jordan putting the Mavericks over the top. Sure they have nice pieces, but Parsons is coming off knee surgery, Dirk is aging in dog years, new acquisition Wesley Matthews in just a few months removed from popping his Achilles, and unless you like yourself some Raymond Felton, the Mavericks don’t have capable playmakers to feed Jordan down low or above the rim. In the greater picture of the Western Conference, the Mavericks still do not feel competitive.

As for the Clippers, it turns out that they may have blown their best chance to win a championship this past season. Now there are a lot of question marks surrounding a roster that is losing a key member of its core. They already traded away Spencer Hawes in the Lance Stephenson deal, so expect a lot of small-ball lineups with Pierce at the 4 and Griffin at the 5. Heck, maybe we’ll even see Big Baby logging 30 minutes a night at the 5 or fellow Doc Rivers legacy play Kendrick Perkins taking his talents to SoCal. You never know.

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