The Dallas Mavericks signing DeAndre Jordan was the right move for this season, but they should be looking to the future when his contract ends.
When the Dallas Mavericks signed DeAndre Jordan last offseason, it was widely celebrated. Dallas finally had the center they’d been searching for all these years. They were able to lure a free agent to the AAC after several failed attempts.
Signing Jordan filled a hole in the roster that desperately needed to be upgraded. It was easy to argue that Jordan was the Mavs’ second-best center ever before he played a minute for the Mavericks.
Jordan has been good for the Mavericks so far this year. He provides them with much-needed rebounding and has been a lob threat down the lane, something that helps Luka Doncic and Dennis Smith Jr. as they run the offense. Even if Jordan seems to have forgotten what help defense is, just having a competent big man down low improves the defense.
Bring him back next season?
So far Jordan’s tenure has been a minor success, despite rumors of teammates being upset about his supposedly selfish play. But should the Mavericks re-sign him this summer?
Let me answer that by telling you a story. One summer in college I met a girl and we hit it off immediately. We liked the same music, same movies, and just generally got along really well. The only problem was that she lived in another state and was only in town for the summer visiting her grandparents. We both knew from the beginning that our relationship had an expiration date. It just made us appreciate the time we had together. Years later, we’re still friends and happily married to partners we met after that summer. I still look back on that time with fondness and appreciation for her.
Relationships, both business and personal, can be both short and successful. No matter how well DeAndre Jordan’s tenure in Dallas goes, it doesn’t mean he has to be back next season. Jordan will be 31 in July. It’ll probably take a multi-year deal for him to return. The only reason the Mavericks were able to get him on a one-year deal was the lack of teams with cap space last off-season. That won’t be the case next summer.
The best plan for the future is not paying Jordan upwards of $25 million a year at the age of 33 or possibly even 34. His defense is already eroding at an alarming rate. It’s likely his rebounding won’t be far behind. There’s no reason to lock up an aging center like Jordan when the core of the Mavericks team is so young.
There’s nothing wrong with the DeAndre Jordan era only lasting one season. He needed a place to play for a new contract. Dallas needed an above average center to man the paint while they tried to get back on the winning track. No, he won’t go down as a Mavericks’ legend, but that’s okay.
It’s better for the Dallas Mavericks and DeAndre Jordan to walk away from each other this offseason, both with opportunities for the future and fond memories of the past. There’s nothing wrong with summer love.