Guys, we got DeAndre Jordan. Granted, its 3 year after we got him, but still. We have upgraded the center position with potentially the most talented center the franchise has ever seen. He’s at least as good or better than Tyson Chandler, who was the last key piece in bringing the title to Dallas, and he has missed fewer games in his career than Tyson misses in a couple of seasons. He is a former All-Star who rim protects, catches lobs, muscles down low, who is the defensive anchor this team needs and should still be able to run with our young boys and make this team fast and fun. So…why doesn’t it feel as awesome as all that sounds?
Because DeAndre burned every MFFL in 2015 with the most unbelievable and unprecedented free agency fiasco of my lifetime that got me hooked on twitter for life. His reneging on his verbal agreement to Cuban and the Mavs hurt a lot of MFFLs and many feel that the mini tailspin the team has been in since then lies squarely at his feet. But, it’s amazing what a change of jersey can do for your feelings. And barring some crazy COMPLETELY UNPRECEDENTED about face from Jordon before officially signing on July 6th, he is your starting center for the 2018-2019 season, so let’s see if we can allow ourselves to forgive him and enjoy what he brings. What follows are ways to say its ok to root for DeAndre, even if you (like me) boo’d his first appearance at the AAC after that free agency.
Last year, on a Clippers team that had lost CP3 & Blake Griffin, Jordan averaged 12 pts, 15.2 rebounds, .9 blocks, and 1.5 assists per game over 77 games. To put it in perspective, the record for rebounds per game by any Maverick in the history of the franchise is held by Tyson Chandler at 10.0 rebounds. DeAndre is instantly the best rebounder we’ve ever had. He is also a workhorse in the paint like we’ve never seen. Over the past 6 seasons, he has missed a TOTAL of 11 games and in 3 of those, he missed ZERO games. NONE. Keep in mind, he only averaged 12 points last year, but that was with scrubs wheras he led the NBA in field goal percentage for the previous 5 years. With Dennis and Luka dishing to him, expect that number to creep up closer to 20 pts a game. And, for those that think he can’t play in crunch time because of his free throw shooting; he has increased his free throw percentage every year since 2014 to currently having a borderline respectable 58% free throw percentage.
Although, I’d rather have traded for him, the Mavs agreed to a $24.1M one year deal as a free agent. While that is basically the entirety of the Mavs available cap space this year, that means the two sides can date before they get married. He could have demanded a multi-year deal, deservedly so, but I think he knows he needs to concede a little to franchise he scorned before. It lets both sides evaluate the fit and leaves room to cleanly part ways next year if it doesn’t work.
Regretting Bad Decisions
Haven’t you ever done something you immediately regretted? Got caught up on Amazon with an impulse buy you justified and as soon as you clicked “1 Click Buy” you tried to return it? It’s not your proudest moment, but you do what’s best and get your money back and move on. This is essentially what DeAndre did in 2015 with one of the biggest decisions of his life on the most public of stages. He got sold by a great pitch from the Mavs, then was left to think about leaving a team that was regularly competing for the Western Conference Finals and leaving everything he knew. He didn’t handle it well, but I think he really did end up doing what was best for him at the time, which included getting more money than the Mavs could have offered and going further in the playoffs than any Mavs team. Owning it in his first press conference with the Mavs will go a long way towards humanizing him and putting it in the past to the average MFFL.
Once we can hug it out with DeAndre, we’ll remember that this guy is a Cowboys fan, who was born in Texas and played for the Aggies down in the no man’s land that is College Station (Hook Em). He is a smiling, fun having, goof. He’s gonna be GREAT for the in game entertainment, just like the cut aways they do with Dirk. He’s got the skill set to be electrifying and is bringing a whole new energy and win share to your 24 win Mavericks team. Let’s all just have some fun with it and enjoy this free agency win that will make your Mavs better.
PHOTOS: Featured Image- Clutch Points, Getty Images