The Golden State Warriors just proved that you can win and NBA title without a true center, but when they end up on the free agent market a quality one still draws quite a bit of interest. The Dallas Mavericks thought they had landed one of the top center on the free agent market when DeAndre Jordan verbally agreed to sign with them. Then Jordan’s what would’ve been former team the Los Angeles Clippers put together a last minute recruiting trip. Clippers owner Steve Ballmer was joined by head coach/general manager Doc Rivers plus current Clippers players Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and J.J. Redick. After spending the entire day together Jordan decided that he would return to the Clippers on a 4 year Max contract. Now neither Jordan or the Clippers broke any rules as the NBA has this odd period where you can agree to deals with players, but can’t make them official until July 9th. All Jordan did was shake Mark Cuban’s hand and agree to take his money to play for the Mavericks. Now depending on what kind of a person you’ll have varying degrees of anger. There will be people who won’t care that Jordan backed out of his verbal deal with the Mavericks and then there will be people who’ll tell you that when a man shakes your hand and gives you his word that’s better than a signed contract. Of course you have to throw out any Mavericks or Clippers fan that wants to weigh in on this as we all know where they would stand. Where it really looks like Jordan hurt the Mavericks is once he agreed to sign with them there were still a few centers on the free agent market, but after Jordan came to an agreement with Dallas he started a bit of a domino effect. After Jordan’s agreement was announced with Dallas Marc Gasol agreed to return to the Memphis Grizzlies. The Los Angeles Lakers made a trade with the Indiana Pacers for Roy Hibbert and Brook Lopez signed with the New York Knicks. Would Dallas have been able to sign or deal for one of these other players had Jordan not agreed to sign with them? It was even too late for Dallas to re-sign their center from last season Tyson Chandler as he had agreed to a deal with the Phoenix Suns. The last real quality free agent center the Mavericks could’ve signed was Enes Kanter of the Oklahoma City Thunder, but he agreed to a 4 year $70 million dollar offer sheet on Friday with the Portland Trailblazers.
I was a little surprised to see Jordan agree to go back to the Clippers. If you remember as free agency was starting Jordan came out and said he was tired of being the 3rd option in the Clippers offense and wanted to go somewhere that would feature him on offense. Well with Paul and Griffin still on the Clippers Jordan is still the 3rd option on offense and I’d be shocked if he’s ever feature in that offense. With the emergence of Reddick last season Jordan may actually be the 4th option next season in the Clippers offense. There is also the rumored feud between Jordan and Paul. Remember at the end of a game last season Paul screamed at Jordan for not putting a rebound back into the basket quick enough at the end of a game. While will never really know if fences have been mended between Jordan and Paul once they start playing games will see how big of a part of that Clippers offense Jordan actually is.
What did the Mavericks lose; well Jordan did post his highest points per game average last season at 11.5. Jordan has also played in every game for the past 3 seasons. He led the NBA in rebounding averaging 15 per game. Jordan is a force on defense were he averaged blocking 2.2 shots per game in 2014-15 and was named to the 1st team NBA All-Defensive last season. What you also get with Jordan is a player who just can’t shoot free throws. For his career Jordan is a 41.7% shooter from the free throw line and in 2014-15 he was even worse than that shooting 39.7%. Jordan has only shot over 50% from the free throw line one time in his career. In the 2011-12 season Jordan shot 52.5% from the free throw line. While Dallas was going to and the Clippers did; they’ll be paying a lot of money for a guy who can’t really be on the court in the 4th quarter of a close game.
The Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks made their second deal of the off season this time sending Patrick Sharp and defenseman prospect Stephen Johns to the Dallas Stars for defenseman Trevor Daley and left winger Ryan Garbutt. Sharp was part of all three Blackhawks Stanley Cup winners, but salary cap concerns have seen the Blackhawks having to make some deals. Earlier in the off season Brandon Saad was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Sharp had just completed his 10th season with the Blackhawks. He had 43 points in the 2014-15 season; 16 goals and 27 assists. Sharp added 15 points; 5 goals and 10 assists in 23 post season games for the Blackhawks during their run to the Stanley Cup last season. Sharp has played in 745 career games and all but 25 of them have been with the Blackhawks. He has 526 career points on 249 goals and 277 assists. In return the Blackhawks get a veteran defenseman in Daily who scored 38 points last season on 16 goals and 22 assists, but was a -13 last season in 68 games. Daily has played in 756 games covering 11 seasons all with Dallas. Garbutt totaled 25 points during the 2014-15 season scoring 8 goals and picking up 17 assists, but he was a minus player as well at -9. Garbutt has played in 198 career games all with Dallas. With this deal and the acquisition of a defenseman will the Blackhawks allow free agent defenseman Johnny Oduya leave. Oduya has spent parts of four seasons with the Blackhawks winning two Stanley Cups, but with the teams salary cap situation he may be another player the Blackhawks will have to let go.
It ended up being Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas and St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martinez who won the fan voting for the 2 final All-Star spots. With the way Royals fans have voted this All-Star season it’s no surprise that Moustakas won. He’ll join Lorenzo Cain, Alex Gordon, Salvador Perez and Alcides Escobar, and relievers Wade Davis and Kelvin Herrera on the American League team. Gordon injured his groin on Wednesday and was replaced by New York Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner on the roster. Martinez is a bit of a surprise to me as he beat out some very impressive candidates including last seasons MVP and Cy Young award winner Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Maritnez also won the vote over Johnny Cueto who’s team the Cincinnati Reds are hosting this seasons All-Star game. Troy Tulowitzki of the Colrado Rockies and New York Mets closer Jeurys Familia were the other two players on the NL final ballot. Did you vote? If so did the players you vote for make the team? I can tell you mine didn’t.
So how was your week?
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