DeAndre Jordan turned down max money with the Clippers to sign in Dallas as a free agent this summer, and did so for a couple of reasons.
The reported locker room rift between Jordan and Chris Paul was a factor, but that may not have been the primary one in his choosing to play somewhere else.
Playing in Los Angeles alongside Paul and Blake Griffin, Jordan was never going to get the opportunity to be the focal point of the offense. Mark Cuban sold him on precisely that point while convincing him to join the Mavericks, and believes Jordan can immediately become a dominant presence.
From the Los Angeles Times:
In an interview with the sports-talk radio station The Ticket, Cuban said he sees DeAndre Jordan as a franchise player. …
“We see him as “Shaq-like” but never having been given the opportunity,” Cuban told the radio show. “We told him if he came to the Mavs, he would be a focal point. He would grow into being a franchise player.” …
“We told him that you’e capable of being a 20-20 guy,” Cuban told the radio show. “You’re just not being given the opportunity.”
Cuban said that Jordan was “like the eighth option” on the Clippers, and he could be the first option on the Mavericks because superstar 37-year-old Dirk Nowitzki was no longer interested in that role.
Jordan led the league in field goal percentage last year, shooting a ridiculous 71 percent on the season. But a big reason for that was the attention Paul and Griffin demanded from opposing defenses, which freed up Jordan to be the recipient of all those lob passes from one of the best point guards in the game.
There’s also the not-so-small matter of Jordan’s free throw shooting. He made only 39.7 percent of his foul shots last year, an embarrassingly low number any way you slice it. It’s worth wondering whether you can realistically give Jordan an increased number of touches on the offensive end of the floor unless this number comes up somewhat significantly, but the plan in Dallas, at least at the moment, is to certainly give it a shot.