The Dallas Mavericks are reportedly interested in pursuing Los Angeles Clippers star big man DeAndre Jordan, who can become an unrestricted free agent this summer. This is a fascinating development, given the history between Jordan and the Mavs.
Kevin O’Connor focused mostly on the 2018 NBA Draft in his latest report, but also touched on some free agency rumors as well. Here was the most interesting nugget about the Texas-born NBA veteran (via The Ringer):
“The Mavericks can create space to sign a max free agent, and multiple league sources expect them to pursue a trio of big men: DeAndre Jordan, DeMarcus Cousins, and restricted free agent Julius Randle. If the Mavericks do indeed plan to pursue expensive bigs in free agency, then it’d make sense to target a primary scorer.”
Jordan has a player option this offseason, so it’s entirely possible that he returns to the Clippers. But if not, expect the Mavericks to pursue him once again because they’re one of just a few teams with enough cap space for the big man.
Back in 2015, Jordan committed to join the Mavericks, but then backed out of the agreement to re-sign with the Clippers. It’s worth noting that since those events took place, he has been booed by the crowd when playing in Dallas.
The organization is already committed to paying Dwight Powell around $9 million next season. Even though Dirk Nowitzki is expected to come back for another year as well, Dallas’ frontcourt could still use some depth moving forward. Salah Mejri, who’s turning 32 years old next month, started just one game last season.
Meanwhile, they have other talented starters such as Dennis Smith Jr., Harrison Barnes and Wesley Matthews. Jordan now shares an agent with Barnes and Powell as well as former two-time Dallas big man Tyson Chandler.
In the report, O’Connor mentioned that one draft prospect the Mavericks could target is Michael Porter Jr.
Porter has already interviewed with the organization and they will have good intel on his back injury. Michael Finley, the former NBA player who is now the VP of Basketball Operations for the Mavericks, reportedly scouted Porter in Missouri.
If the roster has a foundation of Smith leading the backcourt with Porter and Barnes on the wing and Jordan as their big, the team would suddenly be in a much better position to compete next season. With this core, a final run in the postseason would be an ideal way for Nowitzki to end his career.