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.
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.