July 7, 2018 / 10:21 AM / 9 months ago

Mavs' Cuban on Jordan: 'I just want to win'

The past is officially in the past for DeAndre Jordan and the Dallas Mavericks.

Nov 23, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Seth Curry (30) and LA Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (6) fight for the loose ball during the second half at the American Airlines Center. The Clippers defeat the Mavericks 124-104. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Mavericks announced the signing of Jordan, who became a free agent when he declined his player option with the Los Angeles Clippers, on Friday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though it is reportedly for one year and worth $23 million.

In July 2015, Jordan verbally agreed to join the Mavs on a four-year, $80 million contract during the moratorium period before contracts could be officially signed. After having second thoughts and getting recruited by his Los Angeles teammates to re-sign, he reneged and signed a four-year, $88 million deal to stay with the Clippers.

Although there may have been hard feelings at the time of Jordan’s change of heart, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has put it all behind him.

“There’s like four guys I hold grudges with, and three of them are from grade school, maybe even before,” Cuban told ESPN on Friday. “I just want to win. Look, only Dirk and J.J. were there from that period anyway. All of our guys were like, ‘Go get him! Go get him!’

“I talked to him on the phone and he’s like, ‘Everything behind us?’ I’m like, ‘Let’s go win.’ He goes, ‘Let’s go to war.’ Done.”

Jordan’s reported contract with the Mavs is worth less than the $24.1 million he could have made if he exercised his player option to remain with the Clippers. The decision to join Dallas for one season was mutual between the team and Jordan, according to Cuban, as the two sides want to test the fit before cementing something long-term.

“It’s not like it was a few years back when we had a veteran team and we were trying to make it all work together,” Cuban said. “We have a relatively young team. We wanted to get a chance to see how he fits, he wanted to see how he fits, and if we make it work and we get to where we think we can be, we keep it all together.

“It was really just making us both comfortable. There’s no question about his skill set. There’s no question about his abilities. There’s no question about any of it. It’s just that he wanted to check us out, too, and I think he was just done with where he was.”

Jordan, who turns 30 on July 21, averaged 12.0 points, 15.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 0.9 blocked shots in 77 games last season, all starts. In 10 NBA seasons, all with the Clippers, he has career averages of 9.4 points, 10.7 rebounds, 0.7 assists and 1.7 blocks. His career free-throw shooting rate is just 44.6 percent.

With Jordan now in tow, Cuban has his eyes set on his team, which went 24-58 last season, contending for the playoffs.

“ makes us much better,” Cuban said. “I think he’ll be more engaged this year. It’s a contract year obviously. Not everybody was all excited last year where he was. The West is a beast, but I think we can compete for that playoff spot and see where it goes from there.”

—Field Level Media

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