The Indecision: Should DeAndre Jordan Return to the Clippers?
In the present NBA, nothing is certain until the ink is dry and the final buzzer is finished blaring.
And in the current day-and-age of NBA free agency, that can cause some issues. Unofficial (but agreed upon) deals are announced well in advance of the actual signing period, and when offers are pulled or players change their minds, things can get messy.
That's a bit of an understatement for the events surrounding DeAndre Jordan.
Jordan agreed to a four-year, $80 million contract, a max deal, to join the Dallas Mavericks earlier this week.
But he has since had a change of heart. Maybe.
The Los Angeles Clippers are doing all they can to make his decision to return to the team easier, as Doc Rivers and a few players are traveling to Houston to meet with Jordan the day before the moratorium is lifted and he would be able to sign with a team.
Of course, they'd have to beat Chandler Parsons there, though, as Jordan's potential new teammate kicked off an emoji war between the two squads, implying that he was flying to Houston to meet with Jordan.
✈️— Chandler Parsons (@ChandlerParsons) July 8, 2015
🚙— JJ Redick (@JJRedick) July 8, 2015
Jordan's frontcourt mate Blake Griffin might have to swap over from one vehicle to the next to reach Jordan, as Griffin is currently in Hawaii, but he's willing to do it.
✈️🚁🚙— Blake Griffin (@blakegriffin32) July 8, 2015
Even the brand new Clipper, Paul Pierce got in on the action, trying to top them all.
Perhaps The Truth doesn't have an emoji keyboard on his phone, but the copy-and-paste job works all the same.
With the potential backing out of his verbal agreement, Jordan has sparked some internet gold, but in all seriousness -- what should he do?
According to our power rankings, the Clippers were the second-best team in the NBA last season. Their nERD of 72.0 indicated that they should have expected to win 72% of their games last year based on how efficient they were. That trailed just the eventual champion Golden State Warriors (80.7).
The Mavericks were actually fifth with a mark of 60.9.
A lot of that, though, came from the man whose vacancy Jordan might fill in Dallas: Tyson Chandler. Chandler posted an individual nERD of 10.6 in 2014-15. Dirk Nowitzki (5.3) was the only other Mav to secure a nERD greater than 2.5.
Losing Jordan's nERD of 14.1 (fifth-best in the NBA) would be a big blow to the Clippers, but the Clippers have more to offer than the current roster of the Mavericks -- that much is certain.
Chris Paul (18.8), Griffin (7.5), Redick (4.9), and Pierce (3.9 with the Washington Wizards last season) comprise the better core of players from an efficiency standpoint.
The Mavericks did bring in Wesley Matthews (4.6 nERD), but that isn't enough to vault them to the more attractive locale, especially considering Matthews' Achilles tear.
An Easy Choice
Really, the decision for Jordan should be pretty straightforward in a basketball sense. The Clippers boasted the top Offensive Rating (112.4 points per 100 possessions) in 2014-15 and in 2013-14 (112.1), and keeping one of the most efficient offenses in recent NBA history intact makes sense on the hardwood.
Morally -- and even legally -- it's not quite so cut-and-dry, but if Jordan wants to compete for an NBA title, then he just needs to ✈️ back to Los Angeles.