Wesley Eggleston | Staff Writer
DeAndre Jordan has chosen the Dallas Mavericks as his new team, over his former team the Los Angeles Clippers in Free Agency. The high-flying Center signed a contract with the Mavs for a four-year deal, worth $80 million. DeAndre is an athletic freak (in a basketball sense) for any team he plays for, although he does have a very limited post game. He averaged 11.5 points, and 15 rebounds per game. Rebounding can boil down to effort, and Jordan certainly doesn’t lack in that department.
Playing great defense with his length, catching lobs all day and posterizing opponents is what keeps a guy like Jordan consistently on the floor, causing a mismatch for the opposing player guarding him. The league arguably snubbed DeAndre Jordan for his efforts on the defensive end this past season for the voting of Defensive Player of the Year, won by Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard. Something his former coach had a huge problem with at the time.
“If anyone else gets the award, there should be an investigation,” Rivers said to ESPN. “What he is doing defensively, if he was doing offensively he would be recognized as the league MVP or one of them. But because it’s defense, he’s not.”
The move will now leave his former team, the Los Angeles Clippers in a sticky situation at the center position, although the move isn’t as shocking as one might think. Throughout their time playing together, Jordan’s former teammate, Chris Paul had a huge problem with Jordan because he didn’t spend as much time as he thought he should have practicing his free throws. This story first broke late last NBA season, although both sides, including head coach Doc Rivers, denied these reports.
It’s one of the few flaws in Jordan’s game and teams like the San Antonio Spurs have continually taken control of this whenever the opportunity presents itself. Whenever a team did employ the hack-a-Shaq strategy on Jordan, Jordan shot one of the worst percentages in league history at 39.7%. This past season, excluding the playoffs, Jordan made 187 out of 471 free throws.
But despite his free throw trouble, he’s young and talented and will be in the league for many more years if he stays healthy and maybe listen to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, who was quoted as saying, “The only thing keeping Deandre Jordan from being the best big man in the game of basketball is his free throw shooting.” Maybe his new coach, Coach Carlisle can fix it for him. Dallas also must make sure that, as a low-post package, Mavs superstar Dirk Nowitzki and Jordan can find some early and productive chemistry on the court together.