Kurt Helin

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Chandler Parsons on DeAndre Jordan: “He wasn’t ready for being a franchise player. He was scared.”

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Chandler Parsons is the John Calipari, the secret weapon recruiter for NBA teams. His efforts were part of the reason Dwight Howard chose Houston a few years back.

Now a Maverick, Parsons was heavily involved in recruiting DeAndre Jordan to the Mavericks. And it worked… at first. After verbally committing to the Mavericks Jordan changed his mind and in the final 24 hours decided he wanted to stay with the Clippers and re-signed with them. Without so much as a phone call to Dallas.

Chandler Parsons was bent about how all this went down.

He went off on Jordan, speaking to Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

“He wasn’t ready for being a franchise player. He was scared,” Parsons said. “He was scared to take the next step in his career. There was no other reason other than that he was comfortable and he has friendships there. How you make a business decision like that is beyond me. How you ignore an owner like Mark who is in your hometown just waiting for a chance to talk to you is beyond me.

“I don’t think he made a mistake. I think he’ll be good in L.A. He’s got a good team, he’s got a great point guard, he’s got Blake, but I think he could have been a superstar in Dallas. He could have been the man in Dallas. Never in a million years did I think that this was even a possibility.

“I’ll still be friends with him, but I can’t get over the way that he’s put our entire franchise in jeopardy. It’s normal to get cold feet. It’s normal to get second thoughts, but you don’t back out of a commitment of this much magnitude this late in the game and just leave us high and dry.”

Damn.

First off, I want Mavericks at the Clippers on opening night, then the Clippers at the Mavericks on Christmas. Make this happen, NBA schedule makers.

Part of the frustration for Parsons, Mark Cuban and the rest of the Mavericks — and a concern about other teams around the league — is that there was a cascade of other moves by teams based on Jordan going to the Mavs. It started with Dallas signing Wesley Matthews — Cuban said he offered to let Matthews out of the deal, but Matthews wanted to stay with Dallas. Beyond that a lot of moves and trades — Roy Hibbert, Kosta Koufos and others — might have been different if Jordan had said from the start he would be a Clipper. Cuban said the Mavs may have decided to tank the season if that had been the case.

In the end, Jordan landed where he wanted to be, and he didn’t violate any rules.

But he’s made more than a few enemies.

Doc Rivers says DeAndre Jordan didn’t owe Mark Cuban a phone call

Los Angeles Clippers v Houston Rockets - Game Seven
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DeAndre Jordan had a change of heart and mind, and decided to back out of his verbal commitment to the Dallas Mavericks and re-sign with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Jordan never called or reached out to Mavs’ owner Mark Cuban. There has been a lot of criticism online of that action.

Clippers GM and coach Doc Rivers is good with it.

Rivers addressed the media on Thursday about the re-signing of DeAndre Jordan and other summer moves by Los Angeles. He said Jordan didn’t have a responsibility to call Cuban, as reported by Dan Woike of the Orange County Register.

Here’s where I think Rivers is wrong on this count — Jordan had reached out to the Clippers and started to backtrack without his agent, Dan Fegan of Relativity Sports. Fegan was reportedly not getting his calls answered by Jordan either on Wednesday.

I will defend Jordan’s right to change his mind — we’ve all had buyers remorse and in his case the system allowed him to change his decision. It may not be professional, he should have thought this through first rather than become entranced by Dallas’ pitch, but he has the right to change his mind. And I don’t blame the Clippers for pushing for the change once Jordan called saying he was wavering.

But Jordan’s a 27-year-old man, he should have been mature enough and strong enough to talk to Cuban and tell him what he had decided. If you break up with someone, have the cojones to do it face-to-face.

Not shockingly, by the way, Doc Rivers is pretty good with the moratorium as it is right now. Which is good, because it’s 11 days next year, and it doesn’t sound like the union will want to change it.

Report: Sacramento has “very strong” interest in Josh Smith

Josh Smith
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On a team that wants to play up-tempo for George Karl and has DeMarcus Cousins, Willie Cauley-Stein and Kosta Koufos up front, plus Rajon Rondo as the point guard, you would think the goal with the cap space the Kings have left would be to add shooters.

Or, Josh Smith.

Smith, a career 28 percent shooter from three who improved all the way up to a barely passable 33 percent with the Rockets last year, is high on Kings wish list, reports Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee.

Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports adds one reason the Kings may look at Smith.

The Kings do have some floor spacing shooters in Ben McLemore, Rudy Gay and Marco Belinelli, but they could use more. Opposing teams would be more than happy to let Smith fire away from the midrange or three (he hit 38 percent from three in the playoffs, but opposing teams are not going to believe that is the new normal yet).

Another question: In a locker room where there are already chemistry questions — Cousins and Karl having tension (something even GM Vlade Divac admitted Thursday), plus the injection of Rondo into the mix after his Dallas experience — is the strong personality of Josh Smith the right fit?

That said, Smith can still get points, get rebounds and defend at a quality level. He would bring some real depth and versatility to the Kings front line. With a lot of free agents off the board, the Kings may not have a better option.

But it comes with risks.

PBT Extra: DeAndre Jordan’s flip-flop was entertaining, but not professional

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban watches the Los Angeles Lakers play the Dallas Mavericks during their NBA basketball game in Los Angeles
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You’d be hard pressed to find a more entertaining day of free agency than what went down on July 8 — from emoji travel wars to Blake Griffin’s sense of humor about barricading the door to DeAndre Jordan’s house. In the end Jordan stayed with the Clippers and Mark Cuban and the Mavericks were left out in the cold.

It was also unprofessional.

Which is why you will see a push from NBA teams to change and shorten the moratorium. That’s not going to be easy, the moratorium is part of the Collective Bargaining Agreement — the union would have to agree to a change. And the Clippers’ Chris Paul is the union president. But there will be a push.

It’s all covered in this latest PBT extra.

Expect changes to NBA moratorium rule in wake of DeAndre Jordan decision

Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers
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You might want to avoid Mark Cuban today. Nobody can really blame him for being in a bad mood — DeAndre Jordan, one of the best centers in the game, verbally agreed to come to Dallas, and then at the last minute backed out and re-signed with the Clippers. Jordan started what became one of the wildest days in free agency memory by calling up Doc Rivers directly, blocking out his agent and refusing to take a call from (let alone meet) Cuban face-to-face. It blew up the Maverick’s summer plans to try and be one of the elite teams in the West (they were probably still on the second tier, but if Jordan hadn’t given them a verbal Cuban likely would have gone in a very different direction this summer).

Cuban isn’t the only team executive ticked off.

There are a lot of other front offices around the league that thought this looked bad for business — players hiding out at a home, avoiding responsibility while playing cards and video games. It was certainly dramatic. It was also unprofessional. There are a lot of people — scouts, assistant coaches, and so many others that work for teams on the business side — whose livelihoods depend on the $5 billion NBA business, and this made it look like a toy.

What Jordan did was within his rights, I don’t have a problem with a player deciding to go where he wants. I don’t blame the Clippers — they got a direct call from Jordan saying he was having second thoughts, and their title hopes hinged on him changing his mind.

But there will be fallout from how this is done.

Other teams also saw how this shook out and feared the repercussions. For one it could mean even when a free agent decides to move on — and it doesn’t happen that often, major targets stay put about two-thirds of the time — the recruiting of them might not stop. Up to now, there had been an unwritten rule that once a player verbally committed everyone backed off. What’s more, teams note that Jordan’s decision to go to Dallas led to a number of other dominoes to fall in free agency. Teams chased other players, and those players made decisions based on Dallas not having cap space. Dallas likely doesn’t sign Wesley Matthews to a $57 million deal if Jordan says no the first time. Now all of that could open up again.

As a result, there is one thing you can bet on this summer — there will be a push to change the NBA’s moratorium period.

The challenge is that the moratorium is collectively bargained, so that changing it requires the union to buy in and tweak the CBA. That is a combative relationship as the two sides posture for the 2017 lockout, getting that done may not be easy. Plus don’t forget the Clippers’ Chris Paul is the union president, and that long break worked out pretty well for him this year.

There are couple reasons for the moratorium, which is usually seven to nine days (although next year it is scheduled to be until July 12.). One is to allow the league to crunch the numbers from the previous season, then use the final financial figures to set the new salary cap and tax line for next season. This year, that number jumped from the anticipated $67 million up to $70 million. That also impacts how much a max salary is and more.

The other (and league officials will tell you the main reason) is to give other teams the chance to meet with free agents and pitch them fairly. If there is no moratorium, it encourages teams to tamper and talk to players before free agency starts (which happens anyway through back channels, this would just make it more imperative and a larger operation).

Team officials would like one of two things to happen: The moratorium gets killed all together, or it gets shrunk down to three or four days.

The league wants free agents get the chance to meet with multiple teams and make a more patient, less pressured decision. That had some advantages for teams, but now some teams would like to do away with it all together. From Zach Lowe at Grantland.

That brings us to a simpler solution popular among team executives: Finish the damn audit on June 30, set the cap, and start real free agency — signings and everything — on July 1. Kill the moratorium. There would still be some back-channeling ahead of July 1, but since all players are technically under contract through June 30, such pre-free-agency chitchat would fall much more clearly under the league’s tampering rules. If some free agent were to switch teams at 12:01 a.m. July 1 without taking a single meeting, it would raise huge red flags.

If the union goes along with this — and that is no guarantee — my guess is next season will see a three-day moratorium. Maybe five tops. That way, the next time a player changes his mind, other teams and other decisions are not so far down the road. And the entire thing looks more professional.