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.
It was only a matter of time before Mavericks owner Mark Cuban would break his silence on Wednesday’s DeAndre Jordan situation. Jordan reneged on a commitment to sign with the Mavericks, choosing instead to go back to the Clippers. Many emojis were involved. You know the story by now. All we needed was Cuban’s side of the story.
We haven’t fully gotten that, but he says it’s coming soon. In the meantime, he’s issued a brief statement (via CyberDust, obviously), claiming that Jordan never responded to him, and announcing that nothing has changed regarding the four-year, $57 million agreement the Mavericks reached with former Blazers shooting guard Wesley Matthews. Here’s the full text, via ESPN.com’s Tim MacMahon:
Dear Mavs fans,
There will be a time when I detail everything I know regarding the last 48 hours.
I don’t think the time is right to say anything beyond the facts that he never responded to me at all yesterday. Not once. To this minute I have not heard anything from him since Tuesday night.
More importantly, I specifically told Wes that I would not hold him to his commitment if he wanted to go elsewhere. I can’t print his exact response, but suffice it to say he is excited to play for our Mavs :) Wes Matthews is exactly the type of player we want in a Mavs uniform and our fans will love him.
He will be in Dallas today so if you see him give him a MFFL welcome
Cuban also called out ESPN’s Chris Broussard, who reported last night that he was desperately trying to get Jordan’s address:
At some point, Cuban is going to address reporters. And that’s going to be can’t-miss.
The Mavericks came away with a couple of very nice pickups in free agency, stealing DeAndre Jordan away from the Clippers and taking a bit of a chance on Wes Matthews, who is coming off of a season-ending Achilles’ injury as a member of the Blazers.
But while players and agents are allowed to discuss these impending moves, teams are prohibited from doing so during a moratorium period that this year lasts until July 9.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com:
ESPN sources say Mavs owner Mark Cuban has been fined $25,000 for publicly discussing Mavs’ looming deals w/DeAndre Jordan and Wes Matthews
The reason for the moratorium on signings is because the salary cap for the upcoming season has not been officially set.
Larry Coon explains:
Free agents become free on July 1, but the salary cap is not set until the league’s audit is completed later in the month. Teams and players must wait for the salary cap to be set before trades and most free agent signings can commence. Teams may negotiate with free agents beginning July 1, but they have to wait until the moratorium ends before signing a contract.
Cuban was obviously excited to land Jordan and Matthews, and jumped the gun a little on publicly discussing the new additions. The league handed down what amounts to nothing more than a slap on the wrist.
The Dallas Mavericks now have DeAndre Jordan at center, Dirk Nowitzki at power forward and Chandler Parsons as the small forward. That’s as good or better than any front line in the NBA.
But they still have some work to do.
Right now Devin Harris would be the starting point guard (Jordan will find he’s not quite CP3) . They have Wes Matthews at the two, but he is coming off Achilles surgery and may not be the same player. Dallas is already at work to fill out a couple of their guard bench spots with role players, as reported by David Aldridge of NBA.com and Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports.
Both J.J. Barea and Richard Jefferson were with Dallas last season, playing reserve roles primarily. Barea averaged 7.5 points and 3.4 assists a game, playing just less than 18 minutes a night at about a league-average level of efficiency. Jefferson averaged 5.8 points a game in almost 17 minutes a night, but efficient wouldn’t be the word you would attach to them
They both make good reserves, solid role players off the bench. But if Dallas wants to run with the big boys in the West next season — Golden State, San Antonio — they need to land a quality starter for the one and some depth for the two spot.
The Sacramento Kings have tried these last few days. They threw more money at Monta Ellis than the Pacers, but Ellis chose to go to Indianapolis.
Next they threw a boatload of money at Wesley Matthews, around $64 million.
But Matthews has chosen Dallas as his next stopping point, reports David Aldridge of NBA.com.
Free agent guard Wes Matthews spurned a large offer from the Sacramento Kings late Thursday night to accept a four-year offer from the Dallas Mavericks, according to a league source.
The exact amount of Matthews’ deal is not yet set (it will depend on the money Dallas would need to spend on LaMarcus Aldridge or, more likely, DeAndre Jordan). The Kings had offered in the ballpark of $64 million, it’s appears Matthews took less to be in Dallas, the question remains how much?
Matthews averaged 15.9 points a game and shot 38.9 percent from three last season before getting injured. He is also a strong defender and was the locker room leader of the Blazers.
Matthews is coming off a torn Achilles from last March. He is reportedly ahead of schedule with his recovery, but this likely slows him at the start of next season and may linger much farther into it.
If Dallas can also land DeAndre Jordan in free agency — it’s a toss up between the Los Angeles Clippers and Dallas — they will have had the kind of summer that will put them back near the top of the West.