AP sources: Jordan spurns Mavericks for Clippers
DALLAS (AP) — DeAndre Jordan has backed out of a verbal agreement to join the Dallas Mavericks and chosen to remain with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Jordan made the switch after a face-to-face meeting at his Houston home with a contingent of Clippers including Blake Griffin and Paul Pierce, two people with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Wednesday. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the NBA’s ban on public comments before players can sign contracts, starting at 12:01 a.m. Eastern time on Thursday.
The Clippers announced Jordan’s retention late Wednesday and also tweeted “WE’RE OFFICIALLY CENTERED.”
It was a surprising reversal for Jordan, the defensive pillar who agreed to a four-year, $80 million deal with the Mavericks last week.
The Mavericks and Jordan’s agents tried to reach him repeatedly while he met with the Clippers, but were unsuccessful. And Griffin sent out a tweet on Wednesday with a picture of a chair underneath the handle of a door.
“Don’t agree with the furniture layout but I’m not an interior designer,” Griffin quipped.
The Clippers can offer a fifth year on a max contract at more than $100 million. They also can offer the familiarity of the only NBA team Jordan has ever played for, as well as a more talented roster featuring point guard Chris Paul and Griffin.
Dallas owner Mark Cuban was already in Houston to try to persuade Jordan to stick with his commitment to the Mavericks, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
The owner was so confident that he had landed Jordan that he went on a Dallas radio show this week and spoke about the role he would have in the Mavericks’ offense. Discussing the free agent before a contract was signed earned Cuban a $25,000 fine.
Getting Jordan and shooting guard Wesley Matthews had the Mavericks hoping they could avoid a major rebuilding project and make one last run with aging star Dirk Nowitzki.