The Big Mac Blog

The Mavs’ best shot at landing DeAndre Jordan ain’t Cuban

Mavs owner Mark Cuban, here taking batting practice at a charity baseball game in 2013, is unafraid to spend big cash on experts to help his basketball team lose in the first round of the NBA playoffs.
Mavs owner Mark Cuban, here taking batting practice at a charity baseball game in 2013, is unafraid to spend big cash on experts to help his basketball team lose in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Special to the S-T/Michael Preng

Another Dallas Mavericks offseason is here, which means the NBA Playoffs are still going on, and another chance for the Mavs to catch the “big fish” free agent it has yet to land. Maybe this time the grand plan, which originated almost immediately after the team won the 2011 NBA title, will finally work.

This plan has worked so well with Deron Williams, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, etc.

Hey, maybe LeBron James will finally sign with the team. He can opt out of his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers, so maybe he will come to North Texas to win another title.

Since that isn’t happening, the targets for the Mavs will likely consist of the following: Marc Gasol, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Love, Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, and “free throw specialist” DeAndre Jordan. Since this plan has yet to work, maybe this get will one of these guys to sign with the Mavs.

The Mavs have been going about it all wrong; rather than sell the greatness of Rick Carlisle, or the fact that Mark Cuban’s money is somehow different any other rich NBA’s owner’s cash, the team needs to sell free throws. Gary Boren, land the coveted free agent this team needs to remain relevant.

Who is Gary Boren? He is the Mavs’ free throw shooting coach. At this point, with one particular FA, maybe he can offer what no one else can. Desperate? Yes. But this team needs any reason to believe a big-time NBA free agent wants to play for Team Marky Mark.

Don’t expect this to happen, but maybe DeAndre Jordan will come back home. He is from Houston and he played at Texas A&M. And he also can’t hit a free throw. At all. Ever.

Since leaving College Station, he has blossomed into one of the most athletic defensive freaks in the NBA. He just can’t hit air if he fell out of a plane. In the LA Clippers’ Game 4 Western Conference semifinal win against the Houston Rockets on Sunday in Los Angeles, Jordan was an impressive 14-of-34 from the foul line.

In the regular season, Jordan shot .397 on free throws. But he also averaged more than 15 rebounds and two blocks per game. He has zero offensive game, but knows how to guard the rim, and can finish as well as any player in the league. The man makes a difference. For a team that was bad defensively and rebounding, Jordan would help.

Sign me up, but while I am not expecting Boren could make DeAndre Jordan into an 80 percent foul shooter, maybe he can make enough of a difference where he is not such a tremendous liability, and a reason not to have him on the floor late in the game.

Boren has been full-time with the team since 1997, when he was brought here by former coach Don Nelson.

As evidenced by these numbers, Boren is remarkable at his job. Here is a look at the Mavs’ free throw shooting percentage with Boren on staff, and its regular-season NBA ranking.

2015: .751, 16th

2014: .795, 3rd

2013: .793, 2nd

2012: .771, 10th

2011: .777, 8th

2010: .816, 1st

2009: .819, 2nd

2008: .814, 1st

2007: .805, 2nd

2006: .783, 6th

2005: .789, 4th

2004: .796, 1st

2003: .829, 1st

2002: .806, 1st

2001: .794, 2nd

2000: .804, 2nd

1999: .728, 17th

1998: .753, 9th

1997: .717, 25th

It helps the Mavs have had a lot of good shooters in this era - Dirk Nowitzki, Michael Finley, Jerry Stackhouse, Jason Terry, Steve Nash, etc. Boren is also doing something right.

It’s the longest of long shots, but maybe Boren can be a reason DeAndre Jordan wants to be a Mav. I got nothin’ else.

Mac Engel, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @macengelprof

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