Here we go again: Mavs, Jordan preparing to join forces

By Zack Cunningham

If this all feels eerily familiar, it’s because we’ve been here before.

Some 10 hours removed from the start of NBA free agency, the Dallas Mavericks and Deandre Jordan are ready to unite after an opt-in and trade scenario between Dallas and the Clippers couldn’t be agreed upon Friday, the deadline for players like Jordan to either decline or accept their player options.

Dallas had hopes of shipping swingman Wes Matthews to the Clippers if Jordan opted in for the final year of his $24.1 million contract and working a trade with the now-29 year old big man to bring him to the Mavericks, the team he backed out of a verbal agreement with some three years ago.

The best-case scenario heading into Friday for Dallas was being free and clear of the final year of Wes Matthews’ four-year, $70 million deal and taking in Jordan. The move would’ve left Dallas with nearly $20 million in cap space to pursue one more sizeable free agent acquisition this summer while tending to the Mavericks’ other free agents like Doug McDermott and Seth Curry, to name a few.

But the Clippers, per Marc Stein, wanted more than Dallas was willing to give up in trade, specifically draft compensation. Given the Mavericks already shelled out their 2019 first-round pick on draft night to the Atlanta Hawks to acquire Luka Doncic, it’s understandable Dallas said no. The Mavericks, not needing to trade the farm for Jordan in this scenario, simply opted to pursue the big man one more time in free agency just like they did in 2015.

The trade talks were allegedly halted on Friday and, per The Athletic’s Tim Cato, Dallas informed Matthews himself that he wouldn’t be traded.

(In preparation for clearing the requisite cap space, Dallas declined the team option on the final year of Dirk Nowitzki’s 2-year, $10 million deal. The team plans to circle back to the franchise cornerstone in July to work out a deal.)

This summer, however (and to the relief of Dallas fans), presents a much-different landscape than three years ago. Jordan is nearly 30 (not old, but not 26 either) and the market for NBA centers has almost completely dried up.

Dallas is the only team with eyes for Jordan (aside from the Warriors who, even with their MLE of $5 million, might be enough to elicit a sideways glance from the Houston native) and their appears to be significant mutual interest between the player and the team. The word is Jordan wants to be in Dallas and, per Mike Fisher at DallasBasketball.com, the two sides have long since hashed-out their differences since three years ago.

It can be argued that he wanted to be a Maverick three years ago, however, but the Clippers don’t have Chris Paul or Blake Griffin (they do still have Doc Rivers at the helm, though) banging on Jordan’s door this time. While the unease and even skepticism on the part of Mavericks’ fans may be understandable, the reality is that there’s very little reason for Jordan to bolt back to Lob City as the Clippers recently traded Austin Rivers for Marcin Gortat and are reportedly very high on Montezl Harrell. Jordan no longer fits the Clippers’ plans.

Jordan said as recently as this season pondered aloud whether the Clippers wanted him. Dallas has made him their No. 1 priority. That should settle that.

The main question going forward will be how much the Mavericks decide to pay Jordan. The point can be made that even though he did just leave $24M on the table that he would take less for a longer-term deal, but Dallas needs to be careful here. They don’t need to bid against themselves, but they also shouldn’t hold Jordan over a barrel, either. A deal starting in the 3-year, $60 million range will probably be doable for both sides.

While things figure to end differently this time around, July 6 (when players can put pen to paper on new free agency deals) cannot get here fast enough for Dallas.

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TT3 Podcast Episode 6: Breaking down the Deandre Jordan situation with Jeff Siegel

By Zack Cunningham

Tonight, on the Episode 6 of the Trailing 3 Podcast, Jeff Siegel helps us break down the rapidly-developing situation between the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers for center Deandre Jordan. Yes, THAT Deandre Jordan. This apparently is happening.

If you were confused about how this might go down, don’t worry. There are lots of moving parts to this situation and Jeff is a cap guru! Check out the latest episode here!

(Sorry for not embedding … working through some issues with Anchor/SoundCloud).

Episode 4 of the Trailing 3 Podcast w/Jimmy Crowther!

By Zack Cunningham

In this week’s episode of the TT3 Podcast, I bring on Jimmy Crowther of All Things Mavs and the Dallas Sports Fanatic!

We talked about the Mavs’ draft possibilities and also the bigs Dallas has been working out lately including Mo Bamba and Wendell Carter Jr. (Wednesday).

Give it a listen!

ALERT: The Trailing 3 Podcast Episode 2 is now live!

By Zack Cunningham

Hey Mavs fans!

Check out Episode 2 of the TT3 Podcast! We touched on yesterday’s Mavs/Celtics/Grizzlies trade rumors and more!

I’m trying to keep these consistent to once a week … so thanks for your patience if there’s been any slight deviation!

Mavs recap: Whiteside to Dallas rumors?

By Zack Cunningham

As the NBA Finals draw ever closer and two more teams start planning summer vacations, speculation about trades, roster adjustments and draft prospects is also increasing.

Case in point, the Dallas Mavericks and Hassan Whiteside. Two years ago, Dallas wasn’t shy about its pursuit of the then-27 year old Miami Heat center and what he could potentially bring to a franchise that’s been starved for a defensive anchor in the middle since Tyson Chandler roamed the lane in the 2011 championship season.

Could Dallas be interested in making a trade for the now-disgruntled-and-handsomely-paid Whiteside who now is, like, really unhappy in Miami?

Dallasbasketball.com’s Mike Fisher and Dalton Trigg have been all over this in the last few days and if you haven’t checked out their pieces, do so here and here.

Before I get into this, I want to make sure we’re clear on something: saying a team is open to a possibility doesn’t mean there’s an active pursuit. For example, I’m “open” to buying one of Mark Cuban’s mansions if the price is right (read: $200 or so would do the trick). Doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.

Conditions would need to be met. A lot of pieces would need to fall into place.

Such is the case in Fisher/Trigg’s piece with Whiteside as “sweeteners” are explicitly mentioned as things that would need to be included for Dallas to be interested in trading away someone like Wes Matthews for Miami’s big man. Again, that’s not something that’s in motion at this time, just a possibility. And a possibility with conditions attached.

There are three main takeaways I gather from these two great, informational pieces. They are as follows:

  • Whiteside is certainly not Dallas’ “plan A” when it comes to finding a center.
  • Dallas’ draft selection will play a HUGE role in determining who will be the target of their other pursuits (trades, free agency, etc.)
  • Per Fisher, the Mavs are “aiming higher” than solutions like Randle and Whiteside in the middle (and supposedly “higher” than names like Jabari Parker)

See these quotes for yourself:

The Mavs will also look at other vet candidates for the job, and Whiteside ranks below many of them.

And this:

I’ll repeat here for the record, an example: Julius Randle might end up being a Dallas target, but I’m told the Mavs are aiming “much higher” than that.

It’s easy to read these tweets and headlines and immediately think, “Pfft. Dallas isn’t doing this.” That’s not what these articles are saying. They are merely detailing the how’s and why’s of what would need to happen IF the Mavericks were to entertain such a venture.

We had another round of Demarcus Cousins-to-Dallas info rehashed to us by the Ringer last week, intel that Fisher and Trigg contend is being “badminton’d” back to the Dallas fan base as if it were breaking news.

They also have the intel on that in two pieces penned by Trigg here and here.

With the draft less than a month away, there’s still plenty of speculation as to whether Dallas will opt to address its offensive needs (they ranked near the bottom of the league in points scored last year) with a risky prospect like Michael Porter, or if they’ll take their center of the future in Bamba (of note, Dallas ranked 18th in defensive rating last year).

Stay tuned to thetrailing3.com for Episode 2 of The Trailing 3 Podcast later this week and check out Episode 1 if you haven’t already! Thanks for reading!

 

 

ICYMI – Mavs’ Rick Carlisle isn’t going anywhere

By – Zack Cunningham

One of the big stories of the last month or so has been the coaching search of the Milwaukee Bucks.

Obviously, with Giannis Antetokounmpo heading into his prime years, the next head coach he plays for after the firing of Jason Kidd will play a huge role in the direction of the franchise over the next few years.

Several names that had been associated with the process were former Atlanta Hawks’ head coach Mike Budenholzer and former Charlotte Hornets’ head coach Steve Clifford.

Clearly, the job is an attractive proposition … but enough to draw the eye of Dallas Mavericks’ head coach Rick Carlisle? Surely not.

I’m not sure where Gery Woelfel puts his ear to get “the word”, but the notion was quickly labeled “absurd” by Mark Cuban through dallasbasketball.com.

Carlisle made a statement late Wednesday denying any interest in the job.

Although, Ben Rogers does make a good point …

All of this is to say that Carlisle still has three years left on his 5-year, $35 million extension he signed back in 2015. He is also responsible for Dallas’ only championship and has said repeatedly that he is here to see this current rebuild through.

Mavs’ fans should rest easy as the Bucks near their head coaching decision. Jim Carrey isn’t going anywhere.