Tag: Chris Paul

Dallas Mavericks v Houston Rockets - Game Two

Mark Cuban, Steve Ballmer talk, clear the air


Mark Cuban has decided the best way to communicate directly with Mavs fans — and promote his app at the same time — is to post things on Cyber Dust.

He did that again on Wednesday, discussing a meeting he had with Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, clearing the air over DeAndre Jordan and his decision to go back on a verbal commitment to the Mavs and re-sign with the Clippers. That move and the NBA signing moratorium have been the talk of Summer League in Las Vegas, and Cuban addressed both.

Here is what Cuban said, via the Dallas Morning News.

Hey mavs fans. So I had a nice conversation with Steve Ballmer, owner of the Clippers yesterday during our NBA meetings.

It started off more than a little frigid , but we both cleared the air on a few things.

I told him exactly what I told other owners, I didn’t have a problem with his hail Mary approach to keeping a player. I understood why they did it. And even how they did it. They got their player back. End of story.

They are still a few unresolved issues that the NBA will have to work through but one I don’t feel is an issue is the moratorium .

Nothing that happened with this deal was the result of the moratorium

The thing about the NBA is that you don’t know which deals are the good deals and which arrows you avoided till you start playing the games

My guess is that we open the season against the Clippers. That’s when the real fun will being


I want the Mavs and Clippers on Christmas Day, too.

While there was some concern in some front offices about the moratorium, the fact is there were too many hurdles to clear to get it changed. It would have required getting the majority of GMs/league officials on the competition committee to agree on a change, then getting a majority of owners to sign off on it, then negotiating it with the NBA players union (where Chris Paul is the president). Good luck with all that.

Next year the moratorium is two days longer than this year.

Expect this one change — teams that get an early commitment from a free agent will not stop recruiting and will babysit their stars right up to the signing day.

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

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

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.

DeAndre Jordan fiasco finally gives Mavericks a reason to start over

Chandler Parsons, Josh Smith

Just a few days ago, fresh off his biggest free-agent score in years, Mark Cuban told a Dallas-area radio station that this summer was do-or-die for the current era of Mavericks contention. They were either going to land a star free agent — as they had just done, luring DeAndre Jordan away from the Clippers — or blow it up and start over, something Cuban has been vocal about his aversion to in the past.

“If we got shut out, we weren’t going to just try to fill the roster,” Cuban said (via The Sporting News). “We had the discussion that if we couldn’t get a serious free agent, whether it was one of the guys still out there or some of the guys who already went, then it was time to take a step back.”

Yeah, so, about that.

In the most bizarre sequence of events the NBA has seen since the vetoed Chris Paul/Lakers trade in 2011, the Clippers emerged victorious from the wreckage of the Great Emoji War. Jordan is staying in Los Angeles, and the Mavs are left hanging like Jordan trying to get a high five from CP3, with a ton of cap space and nobody left to spend it on. In the short term, for a news cycle or two, it’s a disaster. But if this is the catalyst for Cuban and the Mavericks to finally embrace a full-on rebuild, it could be a blessing in disguise.

Let’s be clear about something: even with Jordan in the fold, the Mavericks weren’t going to be contending for a title this year. In fact, it was more likely that they’d miss the playoffs than make it out of the first round. The west is too deep for anyone outside of the Spurs/Warriors/Thunder tier to be a sure thing, and Dallas still had (and has) too many question marks on its roster. Their other marquee free-agent signing of the summer, Wesley Matthews, is coming off a torn Achilles, an injury that has historically been difficult to come back from. Starting small forward and master free-agent recruiter Chandler Parsons may or may not have had microfracture surgery on his right knee. Dirk Nowitzki has finally started to visibly decline. They still don’t have a clear starting point guard — they were linked to Jeremy Lin recently, but he’s off the board now, and they’re left to pencil in Raymond Felton for at least some of those minutes, which…no. Elsewhere, their depth is nonexistent.

With Jordan, the Mavs’ roster is essentially where it was last year, in the mix for an eighth seed and a first-round exit as they’ve been every year since the 2011 title run. Without Jordan, and with their other injury and depth concerns, they can hardly be considered a playoff team. And if they’re not a playoff team, now is the time to finally start what Cuban has put off for too long. It’s time to blow it up.

source: Getty Images
Getty Images

That won’t take too much work, as there’s not much of a roster to blow up. Parsons can opt out next summer, and if he’s healthy it’s all but a lock that he will. The Mavs will have barely over $20 million on the books besides that: basically Nowitzki and spare parts. They also have an added incentive to be bad if they want to add to that: they owe Boston their pick next year with top-seven protections. Eventually, they’re going to need another young foundational player to transition them to the post-Dirk era. And given their free-agency track record, their best bet to get one is in the draft.

Luckily, if a team is going to be bad in the west, this is the year to do it. Most of the west’s bottom-feeders have gotten significantly better this summer. The Lakers and Kings won’t sniff the playoffs, but they’ve both added legitimate talent to the mix. Utah and Phoenix will be in the playoff hunt. Minnesota is a year or two away from contending for the postseason, but they’ll be better with Karl-Anthony Towns next to Andrew Wiggins. If Denver doesn’t blow up its own roster, there’s enough talent there to be mediocre rather than outright bad. The bottom of the west is Dallas’ for the taking: they’re really only competing with Portland, who are in a similar position after losing four of five starters, including LaMarcus Aldridge.

Without the pressure to contend, the Mavs can bring Matthews along slowly. He’s supposedly ahead of schedule in his rehab from the Achilles injury, but he faces an uphill battle that hasn’t had very many success stories. They can sit him out the entire season if they want to. That probably won’t be necessary, but if they’re not fighting for a playoff spot, there’s no reason to rush him back when they’ve just committed $57 million to him over the next four years.

Elsewhere, they have plenty of flexibility. They can take on other teams’ bad contracts to pick up extra draft picks. The next time an opportunity comes up like the recent Kings-Sixers trade, Cuban is in as good a position as Sam Hinkie to snag a Nik Stauskas-type prospect for nothing.

The Mavs haven’t dealt with anything like this since Cuban bought the team in 2000. It’s to his credit that they’ve always been competitive under his watch, always in the playoff mix and always in the mix to land the top free agents, even if that part of it didn’t usually work out. Now, in the wake of Jordan bailing, in the twilight of Nowitzki’s career, and without much young talent to speak of, it’s time to face the reality that an impressive 15-year run has come to an end. Starting over is going to be rough, but Cuban understands long-term payoff as well as anyone. He’s built a rock-solid organization and infrastructure in Dallas, one that’s better positioned than most to handle a rebuild. But that’s the reality he’s been handed.

It’s official: DeAndre Jordan has re-signed with Clippers; Mavericks are screwed

Los Angeles Clippers v Houston Rockets - Game Seven

We’ve known this was coming for hours, ever since Blake Griffin barricaded the door (that was a joke people):

DeAndre Jordan has officially re-signed with the Los Angeles Clippers, something the team announced on Twitter.

Or, fittingly today, if you prefer the news in emoji form, here it is complete with a new grade from J.J. Redick.

This is a four-year max deal for $87.7 million with an opt-out after three years, something first reported by Sam Amick of the USA Today. So, the argument this was about the money or security goes out the window, Jordan took the same deal Dallas was offering just with larger raises (but more state taxes).

Five days ago Jordan announced he had chosen the Dallas Mavericks over the Clippers and the reason was he felt wanted — the Clippers had taken him for granted, they didn’t feature him enough in the offense, and all the glory went to Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. Jordan felt CP3 dismissed him. Dallas promised him a larger role, showed him he was wanted, told him he would be featured.

But a few days later, Jordan — who was always torn on his choice — started to have buyer’s remorse. He let Doc Rivers and some Clippers players know that. He said (or at least the Clippers’ spin) he felt is agent Dan Fegan — who has an excellent relationship with Cuban — pushed him to Dallas. (Sources close to the agent deny this.)

With the NBA’s moratorium at the start of free agency — eight days where teams and players could negotiate but no binding deal can be signed — a desperate Clippers team had an opening.

The Clippers decided to make a push to get Jordan to change his mind, and it led to one of the wildest days of free agency ever. Rivers, owner Steve Ballmer, plus Paul, Blake Griffin, J.J. Redick and Paul Pierce flew to Houston to meet with Jordan. Mark Cuban and Chandler Parsons from the Mavs tried to get there too. There was a hysterical emoji travel showdown.

The Clippers got their meeting, Chris Paul was apparently very emotional and said he thought he and Jordan were brothers and he wanted to make any perceived slights right. But by then, Jordan had already made up his mind. He didn’t need much persuading. The Clippers players started playing cards and hanging out. There were video game contests.

But they wouldn’t leave until Jordan signed the papers. The Clippers stayed until midnight Eastern, and Jordan never even took a call or spoke to Cuban.

There is going to be a lot of fall out. There were a lot of signings agreed to, and deals made as a cascade effect of Jordan saying he would go to Dallas, and it’s not just Cuban who is an angry owner. Other teams did not like how this went down. Expect some push to change the moratorium system.

On the court, Dallas is screwed as they have no recourse to begin to fill in the role Jordan was to play, the top free agents are off the bord. They had Jordan and Wesley Matthews (who is still signing with the Mavs) but if they had not gotten those two free agents to come to Dallas, Cuban has said Dallas night have stripped it down and gone for the draft pick this year. Now, instead, they are a pretty good team, but in the West pretty good is first round and out. At best. More than likely the Mavs are in the lottery.

There is going to be a lot of hatred for the Clippers and Jordan, who went back on his word. The first game in Dallas is going to be a deafening set of boos. Jordan brought all of that on himself.

The Clippers do not care. They got their guy and with him they are legit title contenders. Chris Paul summed it up this way.

"Believe only half of what you see, and nothing that you hear" -Edgar Allan Poe

A photo posted by Chris Paul (@cp3) on