clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

DeAndre Jordan's flip-flop is the most amazing NBA free agency disaster ever

Here's why this is the single most spectacular implosion we've seen in the NBA's wacky season.

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

We shall forever remember July 8, 2015, as the day DeAndre Jordan got cold feet, met with his teammates and bosses, sparked the greatest emoji party since Mike Scott last entered a tattoo parlor and changed his mind. Five years after The Decision, NBA fans were treated to The DeCommitment. And it was wonderful.

This is easily the most spectacular NBA free agency disaster we've ever seen. Here's why.

This was basically of a hostage situation with a willing victim.

The Clippers contingent arrived at Jordan's Houston home in the afternoon ... and apparently convinced an already wavering DeAndre quickly. But they weren't about to allow Mark Cuban and Chandler Parsons and whatever recruiting tools the Mavericks could scrounge up back in the house. So ... well, take it away Woj.

This is the most NBA way to kill time, and it is an absolutely perfect slap in the face to the Mavericks' elaborate recruiting techniques and promises. Dirk Nowitzki flew cross country during his NYC vacation to lobby Jordan. Chandler Parsons took him out multiple nights. Rick Carlisle held back laughter FOR HOURS while insisting he could make Jordan a featured offensive player. Mark Cuban was ready to give it all up for DeAndre ...

... and the Clippers just rowed up in their banana boats, chatted for a few and played cards all night. Paul Pierce didn't even bother to learn how to use emoji. This was an insultingly easy steal. This was Rickey Henderson shit.

Given the fact that the Clippers basically locked themselves and Jordan into his house, and given the reports that Jordan had been exhausted by and upset over Chris Paul's treatment of him this season, there's a case to be made that Stockholm Syndrome came into play during a round of bourée.

Mark Cuban is going to explode.

Cuban is legitimately proud of being the most fined member of the NBA Board of Governors. He never fails to share his opinions, he's the only franchisee who answers cold emails from basically anyone and he gives basically no f--ks about anything. He once told a reporter to stop smoking crack when said reporter accurately reported trade rumors that were consummated in days. He told Kenyon Martin's mom that her son was a thug to her face. This dude's resting anger level is Siamese Cat In A Bathtub. He has less filter than a cigarello. This is going to be amazing.

And he has so many targets! There's Jordan, of course, who will receive the lion's share of blame (as he should). Cuban is probably going to unleash on agent Dan Fegan, who has been helpful to the Mavericks but couldn't corral his client. Doc Rivers, Steve Ballmer and the Clippers are going to be buzzed with complaints to NBA commissioner Adam Silver. And if Silver doesn't sanction the Clippers to Cuban's liking, the commish himself will get nailed by a Cuban missile.

I am actually excited to hear what Mark Cuban has to say for the first time ever.


Get news, links and Ziller's #hottakes in your inbox every weekday morning.

The Clippers were totally screwed. And now the Mavericks are totally screwed.

The Clippers were so upset about losing Jordan precisely because they were totally handcuffed without him. They didn't have any meaningful paths to replacing him with a legitimate, championship-caliber NBA starting center. They have little in the way of tradable assets. In the wake of Jordan choosing Dallas, the world has been talking itself into Blake Griffin as a center, Josh Smith, Cole Aldrich, Ekpe Udoh, Ryan Hollins ...

Jordan is really good, but he's not turn-a-contender-into-trash good unless the contender he's leaving has no other resources. And L.A. was completely without other resources to replace Jordan.

On the other end, it's not clear Jordan is an enormous upgrade on outgoing Tyson Chandler. He's an upgrade for sure, loads younger and a better asset in every way. But does he turn a repeat first-round loser into a contender? That seemed like a reach when it looked like Jordan was heading there with a post-Achilles Wesley Matthews.

And the timing! Since Jordan verbally committed to Dallas, almost every top-75 free agent committed to other teams. The top available unrestricted center is Kevin Seraphin. Kevin Seraphin! If the Mavericks would have lost out on Jordan five days ago, they would have been in a pickle. Thinking they had him as every other top free agent shook hands elsewhere? That's an amazingly tough turn of events.

No one knows what the Mavericks will do next.

After the Mavericks believed they had secured Jordan, Cuban commented on what they would have done if they'd struck out.

If they would have struck out, Cuban says the Mavericks would have tanked. As it turns out, they did not strike out on Matthews, and he'll keep his handshake deal with Dallas. The Mavericks will almost assuredly keep their word on that ... but wouldn't it be hilarious if Jordan's waffle led to a chain reaction of deal reversals? What if the Mavericks decided not to honor the verbal agreement with Matthews after all? What if he called Vlade Divac and asked if that $64 million offer could be revived? (This is absolutely not going to happen. Just like an NBA star is not going to verbally agree to a free agent deal and change his mind hours before he can legally sign it. Right?)

More realistically, what if Dallas rings up the Pacers and convinces them to pull their Roy Hibbert trade with the Lakers? What if other miffed NBA teams (trust me they are miffed) bring this issue to a head by holding up trades and lobbying Silver to punish the Clippers? What if the chaos of a warm Wednesday afternoon in Houston spreads like a contagion to the rest of the league, grinding the business of the NBA to a halt while it all gets hammered out?

If there's any team motivated to wreak havoc on the free agent party, it's the squad who just had an All-NBA center swiped out of their pockets.


SB Nation presents: These sports franchise owners need to get into the game