Not long after the clock stuck midnight on July 1st the 2018 NBA free-agency period began. Reports of verbal agreements for Paul George, Chris Paul, and DeAndre Jordan started flooding in. Roughly thirty minutes into free agency Marc Stein reported that DeAndre Jordan verbally agreed to a one year $24.1 million contract with the Dallas Mavericks. Yes, Mavs fans, this news might make you feel a little bit of déjà vu.
DeAndre Jordan and the Dallas Mavericks have verbally agreed on a one-year deal approaching the $24.1 million option with the Clippers for next season that Jordan relinquished Friday, according to league sources
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) July 1, 2018
In 2015 Jordan verbally agreed to a contract with Dallas after forward Chandler Parsons convinced him to sign with the Mavs. Except he didn’t. Jordan backed out of the deal with the Mavs and resigned with the Clippers in a famous twitter fiasco that featured emojis from Blake Griffin and Chris Paul as well as a chair positioned against Jordan’s front door to keep him from leaving.
Mavs fans were left to wonder what if once again. Mark Cuban’s famous “Plan Powder” seemed to always fail. Aside from signing Chandler Parsons to a $46 million offer sheet the pried him away from the Rockets, Cuban and the Mavs front office kept themselves from making huge multi-year salary commitments in order to be able to chase big free agents the next year. This plan, dubbed “Plan Powder” by Cuban himself, lead to a revolving door in the locker room that always seemed to feature disappointments the following off season. Dwight Howard, DeAndre Jordan, Mike Conley, and Hassan Whiteside are a few of the names to have spurned the Mavs in free agency in favor of signing huge contracts with their current teams or elsewhere.
There are multiple sayings that can truly paint the picture the Mavs find themselves in at this very moment in 2018. “Life comes full circle”, “history repeats itself”, and “good things come to those who wait” are the three I would choose to describe the Mavs current situation. It is three years later, but the Dallas Mavericks have finally landed DeAndre Jordan, at least verbally. History has repeated itself. It also appears that life has come full circle with Jordan going to the Clippers only to see them implode after 2 years since the twitter fiasco, and the Mavericks now looking poised to be at least competitive with Jordan as the defensive anchor, while the Clippers toil away at the bottom. By the way, none of the members of the Clippers during the twitter fiasco are still on the team, besides Doc Rivers.
Mavs fans, with a collective sigh of relief, can say “finally”. Finally good things have come to those who have waited. And waited. And waited. But it seems Dallas’s days of waiting are over, at least verbally they are. It won’t be official until Jordan puts his name on a Dallas Mavericks contract and fans will be weary until then – deservedly so. But after years of being stuck in mediocrity since the 2011 championship and being in the lottery for two straight years, good things seem to be coming. The Mavs now have a talented young point guard in Dennis Smith Jr., a EuroLeague MVP in Luca Dončić, Harrison Barnes who killed people from mid-range these past two years, and a defensive anchor in DeAndre Jordan.
There is more good news, or at least what looks like good news. It seems that “Plan Powder” has made a comeback. But don’t expect to hear it be referred as that by Cuban. After the upcoming 2018-2019 season, Dallas will have DSJ and Dončić as guaranteed contracts, assuming Harrison Barnes and Dwight Powell chose to not exercise their player options. That will leave Dallas with roughly $87 million in cap space during a free agency period that could feature players such as Klay Thompson, Devin Booker, Karl-Anthony Towns, Myles Turner, Kevin Durant, Nikola Vucevic, Kwahi Leonard, and Kevin Love to name a few. That’s enough space to sign two big free agents that can help lead this franchise back into real playoff contention. Even if Barnes opts in, Dallas would have $67 million to throw at the guys listed above.
It sounds like history is repeating itself, but this time it can be different with DSJ and Dončić leading the way.
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