Kurt Helin

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban watches the Los Angeles Lakers play the Dallas Mavericks during their NBA basketball game in Los Angeles

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

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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.

Now that players can finally, officially sign deals here’s a list of who did at midnight

Anthony Davis
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The moratorium is over.

The NBA’s practice of allowing more than a week of negotiations between players and teams before anyone can actually put pen to paper to sign a deal has never gotten more scrutiny, thanks to DeAndre Jordan and his house guests. There could be changes in the future.

But the system wasn’t changing this year, and that moratorium ended when the calendar flipped from July 8 to 9 (Eastern time). Here is a list of who we know signed with teams immediately after midnight. There may be more, and the majority of players will sign later in the day (and have press conferences where they will talk to the media), but here is the list as we have it now (in no particular order):

• Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans)
• Omer Asik (New Orleans Pelicans)
• Alexis Ajinca (New Orleans Pelicans)
• Dante Cunningham (New Orleans Pelicans)
• Brandon Bass (Los Angeles Lakers)
• Al-Farouq Aminu (Portland Trail Blazers)
• Ed Davis (Portland Trail Blazers)
• DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers)
• Luis Scola (Toronto Raptors)
• Brandan Wright (Memphis Grizzlies)

Kings trade Ray McCallum to Spurs for second round pick

Sacramento Kings v Los Angeles Lakers
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If nothing else, San Antonio’s Summer League squad may have just gotten better.

Two summers ago, Ray McCallum — the baby-faced son of a coach — played fantastically for the Kings at Summer League and made you think he could be part of Sacramento’s point guard rotation. Last summer he dropped 29 points in the Summer League championship game and even threw in a Jordan shrug at one point, leading the Kings to a win in the Summer League title game.

Now, McCallum is a San Antonio Spur. From Marc Stein of ESPN.

Cory Joseph signed a deal to be the backup point guard for the Raptors.

McCallum is a very Spurs pickup, a high IQ point guard who does a lot of the little things right (like you expect from the son of a coach). He started 30 games for the Kings last season and averaged 7.4 points a game, he seemed to make strides in his game (although his three point shooting percentage slipped to 30 percent from 37 percent the season before, the Spurs will expect the higher number).

McCallum is the kind of player that will find his grove in the Spurs system and by the second half of the season he will be someone Popovich will trust. Plus, he makes less than $1 million. This seems like the kind of move that just always works out for San Antonio.

Luis Scola signs one-year, $3 million to play for Toronto

Indiana Pacers v Milwaukee Bucks
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Luis Scola broke the news himself:

This is a one-year, $3 million deal, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

Scola, 35, had a bit of a bounce-back season for the Pacers last season, playing just more than 20 minutes a night and scoring 9.4 points and pulling down 6.5 rebounds a game. He was an above average player.

Toronto needed help at the four, with Amir Johnson bolting town they were left with Patrick Patterson in that role. Whether he starts or comes off the bench, Scola is going to be a solid player for them at that spot. And he fits with their new trend of guys who will play defense.