Thursday, July 9, 2015

DeAndre Jordan May Be Unhinged, And Mark Cuban Pounds Sand (Again)

This Man Haz Issues
If the reports on ESPN are to be believed -- and honestly, this story is so weird, it's hard not to see how there's fire to go with the smoke -- free agent center DeAndre Jordan has changed his mind on making good with the deal that he did with Dallas, and now wants to come back to Clipperland.

Beyond the weirdness of the old in-out, there's the simple nature of wondering why, well, someone would want to stay in a place where you've already fouled the bed by saying you want out. It's not as if the Clips are suddenly getting a competent bench or nice co-workers, seeing how you'd still have sourpuss Chris Paul, ad pitchman Blake Griffin, and the new weirdness that is Lance Stephenson to go with not good enough JJ Redick. In a division with the world champion Warriors, who more or less clowned the Clips all year, it's not good enough to get home court in the brutal West. Oh, and it's not as if Paul Pierce has ever been fun to hang out with, even before he turned into the world's angriest basketball playing grandfather. Finally, keep in mind that Jordan has signed offer sheets to leave before, only to have the Clips match and retain. It's not as if they haven't had ample opportunity to lock him up before now.

Compare this with Dallas, if you will. Dirk Nowitzki drags people away from the rim, letting you camp down low to your heart's delight. Chandler Parsons runs the floor and takes advantage of your block shot party. There's any number of not very good point guards willing to throw lobs to you, because, well, it doesn't take that much to throw a lob. (Trust me on this. Ish Smith can do it, and Smith is the living definition of Least Possible NBA Point Guard.) Wesley Matthews is on hand to replace Monta Ellis and actually play defense, which means there will be more shots to take, and fewer cleanups on your own end. Richard Jefferson, Charlie Villanueva and Amare Stoudamire (maybe) are all around to avoid the Drunken Seal Big Baby Davis / Austin Rivers This Isn't Really A Bench Is It problem. You still avoid winters, and you also avoid CA sate tax, which is not small. And it's not as if the story in Clipland is going to get any better, or if you'd be anything more than Third Wheel to two guys who are (a) not ancient, and (b) not going anywhere.

But, well, Jordan's going back to El Lay, where maybe he'll get a little more love, but honestly... he's going to have buyer's remorse within 18 months. And in the long run, since he's not going to be with the Warriors or Spurs, It Just Doesn't Matter. Also, because he doesn't shoot three pointers, or free throws well enough to stay on the floor in close games.

But at least we'll give Paul enough help to bitterly lose in the second round, rather than the first. Not how I'd choose to spend the best years of my NBA career, but unlike Jordan, I'm not out of my mind. (Oh, and if I were DJ, I'd go to the lEast, where the playoffs might mean getting extended runs, instead of losing to the champions early on.)

We also get to delight in one last and lovely point. Mark Cuban continues to be, despite all the money, all the pampering, and all of the media geisha work... unable to land the big free agent that has supposed to have been his bailiwick for all of these years. No LeBron James, no LaMarcus Aldridge, no Kevin Love, no, no, no.

Maybe Cubes really is just, you know, a younger and second-rate Donald Trump that no NBA free agent of note wants to associate with?

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