Mac Engel

Never forget how DeAndre Jordan changed the Mavs

Mark Cuban Not Super Tight With DeAndre Jordan

Clippers C DeAndre Jordan visits AAC for first time since backing out on free agent deal with Cuban and the Mavs. (video by Mac Engel/Star-Telegram)
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Clippers C DeAndre Jordan visits AAC for first time since backing out on free agent deal with Cuban and the Mavs. (video by Mac Engel/Star-Telegram)

If you want to thank anyone for forcing Mark Cuban to give up on his preposterous post-NBA title blueprint to keep the Dallas Mavericks in contention, send DeAndre Jordan a card.

And if you want to blame anyone for ruining the last few years of Dirk Nowitzki's career, egg Jordan's house.

Illustrating just how short our collective memories are anymore, the Mavericks have deliberately forgotten the level of wreckage once caused by Jordan's infamous Indecision.

No one player did more damage to the Mavs' rebuilding plans than the former Texas A&M center, who now is the object of Mark Cuban's lustful basketball eye again.

The NBA's most interesting season begins at 11 p.m. CT on Saturday evening when free agency starts, and the Mavs have again asked Dirk to re-do his contract in order to create cap space in an effort to sign the center they need, specifically DJ.

DJ is, per ESPN reports, considering to opt out of his deal with the Clippers, and he will be a free agent again. Or possibly opt in but to facilitate a trade.

Either way, the Mavs are locked in on DJ again.

Don't be surprised if Jordan signs elsewhere. Why? Because he's done it before.

The Golden State Warriors are interested, because what that roster needs is more talent.

Bagging DJ will not be the equivalent of bringing in Deron Williams years after failing to sign him the first time, but DJ will turn 30 in July.

Never forget that it was DJ who caused the Mavs to give up on their plan to sign free agents and just accept the fact that in order to win they would have to do it via the draft.

Cuban's plan to keep the Mavs relevant after winning the 2011 NBA title was to catch "big fish" free agents; he whiffed on Williams, Chris Paul, Dwight Howard but Jordan's Y-E-S was going to make it all better. Landing DJ was proof that the plan worked.

The "big fish" free agents the Mavs have landed since 2011 consist of Harrison Barnes and Wesley Matthews.

The Mavs understood his change of heart; the problem was how he did it. By saying yes, then waiting days to officially say no, he prevented them from pursuing other players who could have helped.

Then DJ took to Twitter to apologize, days after it was done, and admired himself for doing it "like a man."

You can either admire the Mavs for their persistence and myopia toward their true love, or call it what it also is: desperate.

We're not talking about LeBron James or Kevin Durant here, but DeAndre Jordan. DeAndre Jordan, who in 2015 told Cuban he would accept their four-year max contract offer only to ghost them a few days later to re-sign with his L.A. Clippers.

"It's not like DeAndre and I pinkie swore. It's not like we've been friends forever. It's not like he broke some trust we had," Cuban told a handful of us on Nov. 11, 2015, two hours before the Mavs hosted DeAndre and the Clippers in their first meeting at home since Jordan blew them off.

"He turned out to be who we thought he was."

The backhanded criticism of Jordan was more of a slap at Cuban and the Mavs.

DeAndre Jordan, who without Paul last season and having Blake Griffin for a portion of it led the Clippers to 42 wins and no playoffs.

When your team ranks last in the NBA in rebound margin, such as the Mavs did last season, you disregard everything and just go after the guy who finished second in the league in rebounding, as DJ did.

He's not a great shot blocker, nor can he do much offensively other than clean up garbage and finish some fun dunks. What he can do is rebound and change some shots.

The Mavs have not had that since Tyson Chandler, when he was here the first time.

Acquiring DJ does not make the Mavs a playoff team, but he makes them a threat to finish .500. DJ will make the Mavs more competitive, more entertaining, and should clean up some of the defensive problems they have had in the paint.

Awful franchise history aside, he is an upgrade, and there is no reason not to pursue him and to sign him.

In this case, however, none of us should get our hopes up.

Clippers C DeAndre Jordan visits AAC for first time since backing out on free agent deal with Cuban and the Mavs. (video by Mac Engel/Star-Telegram)

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