Jordan’s change of heart reverberates through NBA
Doc Rivers gave a quick answer when asked about DeAndre Jordan coming back to the Los Angeles Clippers.
“He never left,” the Clippers’ coach said. Technically, that’s true. In actuality, many – the Dallas Mavericks most assuredly included – would probably disagree. The fallout from Jordan’s Texas two-step already had some saying Thursday the way the league handles the off-season moratorium that doubles as a frenzied free-agent shopping period needs to change going forward.
The moratorium, a dead-period of sorts is in place in part so league officials can have time to crunch all the numbers from one fiscal year and set a salary cap for the coming season, will surely be a hot topic now at NBA meetings next week in Las Vegas. The National Basketball Players Association said it fully supports the right of both players and teams to consider their options during the moratorium, which is scheduled to last 11 days next year.
“Everybody realizes it’s something that has to be looked at,” Brooklyn general manager Billy King said.
Jordan formally re-signed with the Clippers on Thursday, ending one of the strangest sagas in recent free-agent history. He verbally committed to the Mavericks on Friday, word became widely known he was wavering when a Clippers contingent arrived at his Houston home Wednesday for what apparently was a last-ditch push to keep him, and the Mavericks lost their man.
A handshake deal, in this case, was no deal.
“We all walk into these conversations understanding that as with any business contract, it’s not a deal until the paper is signed,” union spokeswoman Tara Greco said.
In Dallas, owner Mark Cuban was predictably unhappy. He got fined $25,000 by the NBA earlier in the week for raving about what Jordan would mean to the Mavericks – he violated a rule of the moratorium by talking about a player who wasn’t under contract - then wound up not getting the deal signed.
Cuban turned to social media to vent, never mentioning Jordan by name.
“I don’t think the time is right to say anything beyond the facts that he never responded to me at all yesterday,” Cuban wrote on the Cyber Dust messaging app. “Not once. To this minute I have not heard anything from him since Tuesday night.”
That was one of the biggest talking points around the league on Thursday: It wasn’t so much that Jordan changed his mind, but apparently no one actually told the Mavericks when the rest of the NBA world seemed to be following it in real time on Twitter.
Rivers flatly said “no” when asked if Jordan should have told Dallas of his change of heart. Not everyone agreed.
“I don’t see anything wrong with changing your mind, but you need to be a man and just tell them why you decided,” Miami guard Goran Dragic told The Associated Press.
It’s impossible to say how much of a domino effect Jordan’s last-minute flip impacted free agency for franchises and other players. If he had announced early he was staying with the Clippers, teams – including the Mavs – may have changed their free agent strategies.
DeAndre Jordan re-signed with the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday.