After drafting Luka Doncic to go with Dennis Smith Jr. and Harrison Barnes, the Dallas Mavericks have their perimeter of the future in place — at least that’s their hope. That leaves the frontcourt as the area in most significant need of upgrading this offseason.
Dallas has been rumored to have interest in many of the top free agent big men that will be hitting the market on July 1, headlined by DeAndre Jordan and DeMarcus Cousins. However, with regards to Jordan it’s possible the Clippers big man could opt in to his player option this Friday in order to facilitate a trade, much like his former teammate Chris Paul did last season.
Despite being spurned by Jordan in 2015 in the infamous emoji war that saw Jordan get barricaded in a house by the Clippers, the Mavs are once again ready to put their heart out there to the 29-year-old Texas native. Dallas has been rumored to be sniffing around as one of the possible trade destinations for Jordan, and on Wednesday night, 50 hours before the deadline for Jordan to opt-in, it seems things are picking up steam after the Clippers already made a move for an immediate Jordan replacement in Marcin Gortat.
According to the New York Times‘ Marc Stein, the Clippers have granted Jordan and his agent permission to talk to teams about possible trades, and the Mavs are among the most active in those discussions with the hopes of locking up the big man by the end of the week.
The Dallas Mavericks are actively exploring trade possibilities with the Los Angeles Clippers and the former All-N.B.A. center DeAndre Jordan in hopes of finding a workable deal to acquire Jordan this week, according to two people familiar with the discussions.
The reason why it would be important for Dallas to deal for Jordan rather than simply signing him this summer is it would allow them to go after another top free agent with the cap space they would save by sending other deals to L.A. in return for Jordan. Dallas already pulled their qualifying offer from Doug McDermott to shave off his $10 million cap hold if they need to renounce his rights, and can get near a max slot fairly easily.
If they can send Wesley Matthews’ expiring back in the deal for Jordan, it would leave them with nearly $20 million in room heading into July 1 and allow them to work with Jordan on a new deal next summer. Jordan has reason to want to opt-in as well, as he didn’t have exactly the best season in 2017-18 and may not get $24 million on an annual basis in a new deal, so he can cash in on that last year while trying to earn himself a larger deal in the summer.