NBA rumors: Mavs to pursue DeMarcus Cousins, DeAndre Jordan and Julius Randle?

Ever since word spread in league circles in March that Dirk Nowitzki would return to the Mavericks for his 21st season, there have also been rumblings that the Dallas front office will look to make additions this summer that can put the team back on a winning track. 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, like Porter, rather than Bamba.

More on DeAndre Jordan Free Agency

In the team’s final game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Rivers inserted forward/center Montrezl Harrell and pulled Jordan out of the game for the final time of the season, and potentially, for the final time as a member of the Clippers. Jordan and Rivers then shared an embrace; a lengthy, 10 second hug with pats on the back and it was clear some emotions were coming out in the process. “I basically told him I love him,” explained Rivers. “DJ’s been great for me. We don’t know what he’s going to do and that could possibly be the last game. I hope not obviously. DJ and I are very close. I challenged him when I took this job. I asked him to be one of the best defensive players, once of the best rebounders, and he took that title and ran with it. I’m just proud of him. He’s like a kid to me.
Tomer Azarly: LA #Clippers President of Basketball Operations Lawrence Frank says that although DeAndre Jordan (@DeAndre) has a player option, the team will continue to have dialogue with him and his agent - "There is a contract for him next year if he wants to be here."
DeAndre Jordan is the last player standing from the greatest era in Clippers history, which would feel strange if he hadn’t also preceded all of those Blake Griffin in-your-face throw-downs and Paul no-look dimes. Lob City might be resting in peace, but Jordan has already defied the usual expectancy of a Clipper. He has worn the uniform for an unprecedented 10 years, becoming an unlikely mainstay who has outlasted All-Stars and journeymen alike. “I’m here and that’s what I’m focused on,” Jordan told Yahoo Sports. “I’m excited. Like I told somebody the other day, I hope I can play another 10 years here. That’s what I’m focused on now.”
The Clippers' DeAndre Jordan has listed his home in Malibu for sale at $6.5 million. The two-story contemporary sits at the end of its own gated driveway in the guard-gated Serra Retreat neighborhood. Extensively remodeled, the house features high ceilings, wide-plank wood floors and full smart-home and security systems. Massive pocket doors open to a covered terrace for indoor-outdoor entertaining.
DeAndre Jordan came close to being dealt to the Cavaliers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, but the deal fell through because the Clippers were unwilling to absorb Iman Shumpert’s salary. This makes the summer ahead that much more interesting for Jordan. With the salary cap flattening, only seven teams are expected to have over $10 million in cap space. There were 10 such teams last summer and 25 in 2016, as ESPN’s Bobby Marks and Brian Windhorst recently wrote. A dearth of free-agent funds will lead to a hard choice for Jordan, who has a player option worth $24.1 million for the 2018-19 season. But multiple league executives think it’s unlikely that he’d receive that type of money annually on the open market. Most of the teams that are expected to have money, like the Hawks, 76ers, and Nets, don’t need an expensive 30-year-old rim-running center, and the teams that do need one won’t have to pay him max money.
Multiple executives and agents think DeAndre Jordan’s decision might depend more on where he wants to play than the money he can make. Jordan said on February 9 that he wants to be somewhere he’s wanted, and he doesn’t know whether that can be said about the Clippers. Still, you need to be careful about the emotional roller coaster players experience ahead of free agency. Jordan might not have been happy to have been shopped in January and February, but things can change by June.
Alex Kennedy: DeAndre Jordan wasn't dealt. Sources say he could be a sign-and-trade candidate this summer. Or we may see him re-sign and then get dealt during the season (as the Clippers did with Blake Griffin). DJ would get his payday and L.A. would be able to get assets back as they rebuild.
David Aldridge: Wizards’ interest in @DeAndre Jordan, like almost every other team—maybe not the Cavs—would be predicated on him opting in for 2018-19 ($24.1M) rather than opting out to become UFA. From what I’ve heard thus far, Jordan has given no indication to anyone that he’d be willing to do that. Jordan hired Jeff Schwartz—perhaps the most powerful agent in the NBA—last year. You generally don’t do that if you’re just going to opt in next summer rather than opt out and seek a max/near max contract.
One of the roadblocks for a team to trade for him is his contract situation as he could become a free agent by the summer. Teams do not see this as a good sign, as he could turn out to be a very risky loan for them, and could give up assets without the guarantee of him re-signing with them. That was also part of the report made by Zach Lowe of ESPN, as he stated that Jordan would be even more appealing if he opted into his contract for next season. Interest leaguewide would be higher if Jordan signaled he might opt into his deal for next season, but that hasn’t happened, sources say.
How are you taking teammate DeAndre Jordan’s pending free-agency situation? Blake Griffin: This is his second time being in this situation. Before that he was a restricted free agent. Each time I’ve told him the same thing. He knows and he’ll know the exact same thing about how I feel about him and how much we want him to be here, to be a Clipper for life. But at the end of the day, he has a family and he has to make the decision that is best for him. Whatever that is, I’ll support him. He’ll know how much we want him here.
Bobby Marks: Outside of staying with the Clippers, it will be a lukewarm FA market for DeAndre Jordan if he opts-out. 6 teams with room: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Chicago, Phoenix and Philly. All rebuilds or already have a C. Hard to recoup his $24.2M player option if he opts-out.
Jordan has a player option worth $24.11 million, and while most insiders don’t believe there will be a very robust free agent market for traditional centers, there is something to the idea of trading in $24.11 million for a multi-year deal. With the Clippers beginning to accept that a rebuild is more than necessary, Jordan’s future with the Clippers is anything but clear, especially with the notion of him expecting a new deal north of $100 million.
After two years without an agent, LA Clippers All-Star center DeAndre Jordan has hired new representation with trade discussions and free agency on his immediate horizon, league sources told ESPN. Jordan, 29, has signed with Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports Management, sources said, who will help navigate the processes expected to determine Jordan's future with the Clippers.
The franchise's devastating batch of injuries and an 8-14 start to the season has inspired rival teams to start reaching out to the Clippers front office on the availability of Jordan, league sources told ESPN. The hiring of an agent can be a facilitator for teams wondering whether Jordan would have interest in signing with them long term should they trade significant assets to the Clippers to acquire him.
Jordan may want something closer to his maximum salary of $35 million. He has discussed an extension, but he would earn less going that route; talks have stalled. "If they want me, yeah, I'd love to be here," Jordan says. "But I don't have an extension, do I? So we'll see." (Jordan is also negotiating without an agent. He parted ways with Dan Fegan, his old agent, after the Dallas hostage situation. "I haven't had the best experiences with agents," Jordan says.)
DeAndre Jordan, after verbally agreeing to a four-year max deal with the Dallas Mavericks last week, has made an about-face, re-signing with the Los Angeles Clippers in a deal ESPN sources say was completed Thursday morning shortly after midnight ET at his house in Houston. The contract with the Clippers also is a four-year max deal that will be worth an estimated $88 million, sources told ESPN. Jordan can opt out after three years.
Ben Bolch: According to @Eric Pincus, DeAndre Jordan's 4-year contract with the Clippers is for $87.6 million. Would have made $84.1 million with Mavs.
Marc Stein: The terms in play now from Clips for Jordan, sources say, are five-year max deal in excess of $110 million with player option after Year 4. Initially in free agency, Jordan appeared unmoved by five-year max deal. His willingness to do four-year deal seemingly handed edge to Mavs
DeAndre Jordan has told the Los Angeles Clippers that he wants to walk away from his new deal to join Dallas Mavericks and stay in Los Angeles, according to league sources. But sources told ESPN.com that the unprecedented fluidity of Jordan's free agency has convinced the Clippers that they need to stay at Jordan's side until he can formally sign a new contract, given that Jordan has already changed his mind once in his process.
Yet sources say that the majority of the Clippers' contingent that descended en masse onto Houston to get Jordan back -- which included coach/team president Doc Rivers, owner Steve Ballmer and star teammates Chris Paul and Blake Griiffin -- refused to leave Jordan's house after the conclusion of the meeting. The Clippers' contingent, sources said, is vowing to stay with Jordan until at least 12:01 a.m. ET Thursday, which is the first allowable minute that Jordan can officially sign a new deal with L.A.
Sources say that Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and lead Mavericks recruiter Chandler Parsons, meanwhile, now fear they won't even get the chance they were expecting Wednesday night to try to pitch Jordan one more time before he makes his decision, given that the Clippers' traveling party has essentially refused to leave the All-NBA center. Cuban and Parsons arrived Wednesday in Houston along with Jordan's primary agents from Relativity Sports -- Dan Fegan and Jarrin Akana -- who sources say were excluded from the Clippers' early evening meeting with their client.
Jordan, according to the person with knowledge of the situation, began having second thoughts about his choice not long after agreeing to sign Dallas' four-year, $80 million deal. He had been wined and dined by the Mavericks' principle recruiters, chief among them owner Mark Cuban and Parsons, and bought in on the idea that they could provide everything he longed for during his seven seasons with the Clippers. Jordan, who is working out in Houston, began having doubts about leaving nearly $30 million on the table for a team that is not as good as the Clippers. Per league rules, only the Clippers have the ability to give Jordan a five-year deal that would be worth the maximum salary of approximately $110 million combined. The communication with the Clippers and Jordan never ceased, and it's clear now that he's seriously considering a return. Because the NBA has a free agency moratorium that doesn't lift until July 9, deals can only be agreed on in principle before then.
At least one member of Jordan's camp is not pleased that the Clippers are re-engaged in discussions with Jordan, a person familiar with the situation told USA TODAY Sports. The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly until Jordan signs with a team.
Rivers has circumvented Jordan’s agents at Relativity Sports and gone directly to the center, league sources said. That only happened, sources said, once Jordan started to send out strong signals that he felt he may have made the wrong decision. Jordan committed to signing a four-year, $80 million deal with the Mavericks, but can’t sign any deal until the league’s moratorium is lifted on Thursday. Dallas became aware of the Clippers’ renewed pursuit on Wednesday morning and is planning an aggressive response, sources told Yahoo Sports.
Alex Kennedy: A big reason Pierce was added was to help DJ, per sources. They felt his leadership style would be good for DJ and prevent CP3/DJ issues. Now, the Clipps are trying to make all of this clear to DeAndre: Pierce will help him, he'll work with a big man coach and get more looks.
Clippers executives touched on a variety of topics during the three-hour meeting, including increased marketing opportunities for a player who has lagged in that department behind teammates Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, star pitchmen for several national brands. Coach Doc Rivers also addressed tensions between Paul and Jordan that have given the center pause about his desire to continue playing for the only NBA team he has known in his seven professional seasons. A person close to Jordan who attended the meeting described the Clippers' presentation as "tight," saying "they had their stuff together."
David Baumann: Source: Mavs are "optimistic" they lured DeAndre from LAC after meetings today. Prior to FA, DJ texted @RyanTotka "really considering it."
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January 27, 2021 | 8:36 pm EST Update
Attempts to grow closer as a team are confronting a world in which proximity to teammates is both dangerous and prohibited. As a result, NBA players and staffs have been reduced to distant conversations through face masks, and a road life dominated by individual screens rather than collective camaraderie. “The reality is that you can’t do stuff like that anymore,” Haslem said. “Those opportunities don’t exist.” In Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner’s words: “It’s a bubble within a bubble.”
Storyline: Coronavirus
STARTING AN AVERAGE day on the road, an NBA player must now wake up as early as 7:30 a.m. to be tested before a practice or shootaround, depending on the market. He then returns to his room to catch another hour or so of sleep, or to busy himself with a video game, an episode of a series or maybe a FaceTime session with family back home. A couple of hours later, he reports downstairs to board the team bus. The wait in the lobby is traditionally a time when players schmooze and hang out, but with everyone at least 6 feet apart and masked, the vibe has taken on an edgy quality.
Pre-practice strategy sessions at the hotel can no longer last more than 10 minutes. Shootaround or practice offer some normalcy, but breakfast back at the hotel in a ballroom, typically a communal ritual where players and staff yuck it up at tables for eight, now operates as a grab-and-go. Want some fresh air? Forget about taking a walk outside, even though the CDC and other leading medical institutions regard outdoor activities with the appropriate precautions as low risk.
This season, that ground rarely extends much past the door to a hotel room. The Spurs’ custom on the plane has been effectively prohibited. Under the new guidelines, players must sit next to the same guys they sit next to on the bench during games. On an off night, it’s dinners for one in the room — a far cry from the jovial dining out experience in a road city. “I think that’s hard — having options taken away,” Holiday said. “You might go to your favorite city, and have a favorite food spot that people might not know about. And that’s something that you can bring to the table, something you share, and [this season] you can’t really share that.”
January 27, 2021 | 6:50 pm EST Update
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