Mavericks all-in on 'Plan A' for offseason moves
The Dallas Mavericks' annual "big fish" fry is in full bloom. Per usual, things haven't gone smoothly.
While the Mavs await word from Clippers center DeAndre Jordan and Blazers shooting guard Wes Matthews, Plans B & C have gone up in smoke. There is no safety net for our local version of the Flying Wallendas.
Even JJ Barea is reportedly leaning toward an offer from the Miami Heat. That's after Al-Farouq Aminu and Tyson Chandler bolted for big money. Other than aging superstar Dirk Nowitzki, there's no continuity with this organization. The top recruiter is second-year man Chandler Parsons who is attempting to return from a knee surgery the Mavs won't allow him to discuss. There would be dancing in the streets over the signing of Matthews despite his uncertain comeback from a torn Achilles' tendon.
LaMarcus Aldridge met with the Mavs on Wednesday, but that appeared to be a simple courtesy to his hometown team. An ESPN report did say late Wednesday the Clippers were worried about Jordan signing with the Mavs. That was the closest thing to good news for this organization.
I don't know why Jordan would leave a Clippers team that is a perfect fit for him. Maybe he believes he'll become the face of the organization in Dallas. But who will lob the ball to him? The Mavs don't have a clue about point guard for next season. The disastrous Rajon Rondo scenario has come and gone. He and the dysfunctional Kings truly deserve each other.
The Mavs are likely trying to convince Jordan that coach Rick Carlisle will take him to another level. That was surely a big part of the presentation, which by all accounts, went rather smoothly.
The problem is the Clippers getting the last word. Jordan trusts Doc Rivers. He's flourished under him. The coach has not allowed Jordan's pitiful free-throw shooting to keep the center off the court. I think Jordan will have a difficult time walking away from Rivers and Blake Griffin. And Chris Paul might show up and try to heal whatever wounds he's caused. The Clippers won't go quietly.
Of course, landing Jordan doesn't make up for the 19 points per game that Monta Ellis scored. He's really not a huge improvement over Tyson Chandler in the immediate future. Landing Jordan simply keeps you in the Western Conference conversation. It's not like the Warriors will be shaking.
If the Mavs don't land Jordan, things could get ugly. You may have to go after a Robin Lopez or Roy Hibbert. Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson would duct-tape a roster together with spare parts.
But if Cuban tries to say the Mavs might be better off without Jordan, know that he's fibbing. This organization has all its eggs in DeAndre's basket right now. But I still think the Mavs only have a 42 percent chance - same as Jordan's free-throw percentage.
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