Two years ago, Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan spurned the Dallas Mavericks by going back on his verbal free agency agreement.
Since that incident, fans of the Mavericks have an undeniable disdain for Jordan, and they let it be known every time the Clippers come to American Airlines Center. Their most recent meeting was this Wednesday, and Jordan had his share of production while hearing his an unwavering amount of boos during Los Angeles’ thumping of Dallas.
At the end of the 124-104 victory, Jordan totaled 16 points and eight rebounds. Tim MacMahon of ESPN was lucky enough to catch up with DJ after their win.
“I feel like anywhere I would have been DeAndre. I would have tried to help the organization out any way that I could, but I’m definitely happy where I’m at. This is a great organization for me. I’ve been here all my career, so it’s great.
“I wish these guys nothing but the best. I still owe those guys a lot for taking a chance on me. I just wish things would have gone differently.”
The Mavericks grand scheme involved Jordan in the frontcourt with Chandler Parsons and Dirk Nowitzki. From there, DJ would become Dallas’ new franchise player, and his game would expand to places never seen before.
With the Clippers, Jordan is non-existent on offense unless he’s catching lobs from Chris Paul or cleaning up misses around the basket. And they wouldn’t have it any other way. As they sit atop the NBA with their 14-2 record, Doc Rivers and his Clippers are fortunate enough not to need huge performances on offense from Jordan. Instead, they let him focus on defense solely. That’s nothing new, but Jordan’s defensive rating per 100 possessions is at career-best at 97, and he’s averaging 1.6 swats per game.
If he stayed with Dallas, it’s hard to imagine he’d remain such a dominant defensive big with the added worry of having to bear larger load offensively.
This year, he’s averaging 7.1 shots per game, which is a career-high. The Mavericks had intentions of turning him into a 20-point per night scorer and Jordan isn’t built that way. He would need to totally develop his offensive repertoire and become more than a guy who gets all of his points from hustle plays.
Could it have happened? Sure, but the Mavericks wouldn’t have had the time to wait for him to become a low-post threat.
Dallas wants to win as much as possible before Dirk retires, and you can’t blame them. Signing Jordan would’ve helped them tremendously, but he’s not someone who could’ve been their franchise player.
This summer, Dallas signed Harrison Barnes, someone who has played incredibly well and can develop into an All-Star-caliber player. In the midst of his best season ever, Dallas is the worst team in the league and has just two wins. Granted, many of their go-to guys have gotten hurt, but they haven’t been effective when they played.
Nowitzki is averaging just 11.5 points on 34.7 percent shooting; Deron Williams is at 12.5 a night on roughly 40 percent shooting. If they retained Parsons, it’s possible that he’d be hurt as well because he has such a checkered past.
Jordan would get paired with Barnes, and they would be Dallas’ dynamic duo. The only issue is that they lack the ability to play both sides of the ball well consistently.
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