Photo by Paul Buck/EPA
MANILA, Philippines – After initially verbally committing to a 4-year, $80 million deal with the Dallas Mavericks, free agent big man DeAndre Jordan is set to re-join the Los Angeles Clippers after a whirlwind of events took place on Thursday, July 9.
Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, team owner Steve Ballmer, and teammates Chris Paul, Paul Pierce, JJ Reddick, and Blake Griffin all descended on Jordan’s offseason home in Houston, Texas, on Thursday, confident that they could re-gain their starting center and were able to do just that.
According to reports, Jordan called Rivers days after agreeing to a deal with the Mavericks and said he was re-thinking his decision, leading the head coach to believe Los Angeles still had a shot at swaying the big man to sign with the Clippers instead.
The meeting itself on Thursday didn’t last long, since Jordan was already leaning on a return to Los Angeles, according to reports. Per Yahoo, those at the household then started playing cards and video games while Jordan’s mother ordered food for her guests.
Both Yahoo and ESPN report that the Clippers’ contingent remained at Jordan’s home until 12:01 am on Thursday (US time), when the NBA’s league-wide moratorium was lifted and Jordan was formally allowed to sign his new contract with the team, which is expected to be a 4-year, maximum deal.
That's why they brought me here lol pic.twitter.com/Z64Tkiyp01 — Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) July 9, 2015
While it’s considered an unwritten law for for free agents to push through with signing with the team they verbally committed to, Jordan wasn’t mandated by any NBA rule to follow through with the Mavericks and had all the legal liberty to choose a return with the Clippers.
Dallas owner Mark Cuban and forward Chandler Parsons both also flew to Jordan’s home in Houston along with Jordan’s agency representation - Relativity Sports - with the hopes of swaying Jordan from returning to Los Angeles.
Apparently, Jordan's representation wasn't present during his meeting with Los Angeles. Dan Fegan, Jordan's agent, has close ties with Cuban - a factor that reportedly played a major role in the big man verbally committing to the Mavericks in the first place.
According to reports, Dallas’ contingent was unable to secure a meeting with the 26-year-old center, as those from the Clippers remained in Jordan’s household to make sure he would sign a contract once the clock struck 12:01.
According to ESPN, Jordan wasn’t even answering phone calls from either Parsons or Cuban. The Mavs had been promised a face-to-face meeting with Jordan.
One of the topics that was talked about during Jordan’s meeting with the Clippers on Thursday was his relationship with Paul - something that had turned sour due to the star point guard’s demanding personality on the court.
But per ESPN, Paul was emotional during the meeting and said he considered Jordan a “brother.” Not long after, the leader of the team posted this on Instagram:
"Believe only half of what you see, and nothing that you hear" -Edgar Allan Poe A photo posted by Chris Paul (@cp3) on Jul 8, 2015 at 9:28pm PDT
Paul cut short his Caribbean vacation with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Carmelo Anthony in order to make it to Houston for the meeting with Jordan.