The Dallas Mavericks landed the “big fish” free agent they have been fishing for since they destroyed their NBA championship roster. As long as the Mavs do not expect to build their team around DeAndre Jordan, this is good.
The reported addition of Los Angeles Clippers free agent center DeAndre Jordan to a four-year, $80 million contract is fantastic, and covered in red flags. As long as this singing is a long-term play, it works. If it’s anything more than that, this big fish will be a Trojan horse.
* Jordan is an athletic big man that can run, jump and finish on the break. He led the NBA in rebounding last season at 15 per game, and averaged more than 11 points and 2 blocks per game. The guy is a better version, on the floor, than Tyson Chandler.
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* He is only 26.
* He is durable; he has played all 82 games in each of the last three seasons.
* Athletically, he is one of the best athletes in a league that has the best athletes in the world.
“He has a high ceiling; it’s amazing how he plays,” said former Baylor player and current Oklahoma City Thunder forward Perry Jones to 105.3 The Fan. “I’ve known him since he at Texas A&M and that dude can jump out of the gym.”
* Jordan can roll at the basket and flush a plane.
The Red Flags
* Jordan is leaving one of the best rosters in the NBA in the Clippers, and a point guard that had the ability to set him up and feed him in a way few players can. DeAndre Jordan may not like Chris Paul, but he is going to miss Chris Paul.
The Clippers had the Houston Rockets beat in the second round of the NBA’s Western Conference semifinal but gagged a 3-1 series lead and lost in seven games.
The Clippers have a roster you don’t leave unless you absolutely have to. This is not a team owned by Donald Sterling; they want to win, and have the roster to win. There is no good reason to leave this team other than comfort.
* Jordan left L.A. for less money.
* He is a horrible free throw shooter, and a potential liability to be on the floor at the end of games. Jordan shot less than 40 percent, and remains an ideal candidate to be deliberately fouled when opponents. This has to be fixed. No max player should be on the bench because he can’t make a free throw.
* He has no offensive game other than to dunk. Last season, with an offensive-oriented team like the Clippers, Jordan averaged just 6.5 field goals per game. There is no reason to expect the Mavs can throw it to DeAndre on the low blocks and run any possession through him.
Adding DeAndre Jordan is not a bad move, but this only works if the Mavs consider him to be what he was with the Clippers - a complimentary offensive player that makes them a legit defensive team at the rim. They still need a point guard, and so will Jordan.
As long as Jordan is part of a bigger picture, and not the focal point, it’s fine.
Mac Engel, 817-390-7760