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Mark Cuban says it was sign DeAndre Jordan or tank for Mavericks

Dallas would have resorted to tanking for a top pick if it was unable to sign the coveted big man.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks lured DeAndre Jordan away from the Los Angeles Clippers, and it saved the immediate future of the franchise. Team owner Mark Cuban admitted that it was Jordan or bust for the Mavericks, according to ESPN's Tim McMahon. Dallas would have gone into tank mode if it didn't sign the free agent prize.

Instead, at a price of $80 million over four years, the Mavericks signed a younger version of Tyson Chandler -- who they lost to the Phoenix Suns in free agency. Jordan will join Dirk Nowitzki, Chandler Parsons and newly signed shooting guard Wesley Matthews in Dallas, filling out a dangerous roster even in the vaunted Western Conference.

Cuban would have been right to panic if Jordan hadn't signed; with an aging Nowitzki, the Mavericks' title window was closing. Instead, they signed a 26-year-old who is a defensive menace and wants to develop his offensive arsenal.

Jordan is coming off his best year in the NBA, averaging 11.5 points and 15 rebounds per game while leading the league in rebounding and field goal percentage, connecting on 71 percent of his attempts.

Heading to Dallas, he's taking a franchise that was ready to throw in the towel and has them believing a deep playoff run is possible.