The DeAndre Jordan saga played out publicly and hilariously on Wednesday, with players from both sides tweeting ridiculous things as the Clippers descended on Jordan’s Houston home to finalize his commitment, while the Mavericks were simply shut out.
Once Jordan’s decision was crystallized, Dallas turned to its other free agent commitment in Wes Matthews, who ended up being rewarded for his loyalty throughout the process.
David Aldridge of NBA.com:
With DeAndre Jordan going back to the Clippers, Wes Matthews’s deal with Dallas goes from 4/$57M to a max deal: 4 years, $70M, per source.
That would have happened if Jordan had initially opted 2 stay in L.A. Matthews took less in order 4 Jordan to come. That changed, obviously.
With Jordan out of the picture, it would have been easy for the Mavericks to similarly renege on their agreement with Matthews, while choosing to enter a full-fledged rebuild instead.
But as bad it was for Jordan to do so, it would have been even more devastating to the credibility of the Dallas franchise.
Mark Cuban and the Mavericks went in the opposite direction, and committed more money to Matthews than was previously agreed upon. That’s money well-spent, because it will undoubtedly go a long way with future free agents who consider Dallas as a potential destination.
The Lakers had a verbal agreement to acquire Roy Hibbert from the Pacers in the early days of free agency, but as we saw on Wednesday with DeAndre Jordan and the circus that played out between the Mavericks and the Clippers, deals like this are ultimately meaningless until the paperwork is signed.
L.A. and Indiana completed the deal on Thursday, and announced it via official release.
The Los Angeles Lakers have acquired center Roy Hibbert in a trade with the Indiana Pacers, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak. In exchange the Pacers will receive a future second round pick.
“We’re happy to add a veteran big man to the roster,” said Kupchak. “Roy is a proven All-Star center that will help improve our front line. In addition he is a consummate professional and we look forward to having him on the team.”
Hibbert is in the final year of his contract, and for a Lakers team that missed out on guys like LaMarcus Aldridge in free agency, adding the former Pacers big man as a plan B while giving up basically nothing in return was a more than acceptable option.
The Lakers also formally announced the signings of Lou Williams and Brandon Bass, along with Anthony Brown, who was the 34th overall pick in this summer’s NBA Draft.
Portland giving Enes Kanter a $70 million max offer sheet seemed a move done in part to make the Thunder pay. The Trail Blazers already have Meyers Leonard under contract, then they traded for Mason Plumlee and signed Ed Davis to a free agent deal. Do they need another center? One that doesn’t play much defense?
But the Thunder need scoring inside, and Kanter gives them that. He is a gifted offensive player. Plus, with Kevin Durant’s looming free agency you will not find a team in more of a win-now mode than OKC and they see Kanter as part of that now.
The Thunder have three days to match (until Sunday) and they likely will, GM Sam Presti told Anthony Slater of the Oklahoman.
The Thunder have Serge Ibaka as their starting four with Nick Collison behind him. At the five there would be Kanter and Steven Adams in rotation — they can play for offense or defense — plus they have Mitch McGary.
Kanter is a defensive liability — their defense was 6.5 points per 100 possessions worse when he was on the floor than when he was sitting. The Thunder offense was 3.5 points per 100 better when he was on the court. Overall, OKC was -0.7 points per 100 when Kanter was on the floor — and by the way they still had a terrible defensive rating of 107.5 per 100 when Kanter and Ibaka were paired.
But expect the Thunder to keep Kanter.
This is a market max deal — it’s overpaying under the current salary cap, but as the cap spikes by more than $40 million over the next two years due to the new television deals, that contract will not be so bad.
And in a worst case scenario where Durant (and likely Russell Westbrook behind him) leave OKC, under the new contract will not be as burdensome under the expanded salary cap, meaning it could be traded fairly easily.
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.”
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.
Throughout free agency, it’s been widely assumed that Enes Kanter would be back with the Thunder. He’s a restricted free agent, but the Thunder are motivated to keep him, not only because they just traded for him at the deadline, but because they need all the talent they can get going into Kevin Durant’s free agency next summer.
The Portland Trail Blazers, flush with cap space after losing three starters to free agency, are making their lives difficult. NBA.com’s David Aldridge reports that Kanter will sign an offer sheet in Portland, worth four years and $70 million.
Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski adds that Kanter’s offer sheet includes a trade kicker, which makes it even more difficult for the Thunder to match:
It’s probably a moot point because the Thunder are expected to match, but Kanter is not a good fit in Portland at all. They just signed Ed Davis and traded for Mason Plumlee, and have their own former lottery pick, Meyers Leonard, who is expected to get big minutes after improving last season. That’s three young bigs, all making substantially less than Kanter would make, and all of whom are considerably better defenders than Kanter, who is a complete liability on that end. Even with the cap going up next summer, a max deal for Kanter is not the best use of any resources for Portland.
But, again, the Thunder will probably match.