By Brian Hanley–
(CBS) Did the Clippers brass take DeAndre Jordan to lunch Wednesday at a Waffle House in Houston?
It would have been apropos.
As of Wednesday mid-afternoon, multiple reports indicated that Jordan, an unrestricted free agent who’s from Houston, was said to be not-so-sure about honoring his verbal commitment to the Dallas Mavericks to sign a four-year contract with them Thursday, as soon as the league moratorium ends and such deals can be inked.
Clippers president of basketball operations and coach Doc Rivers, team owner Steve Ballmer and several players were reportedly in Houston on Wednesday to persuade Jordan to stay with the Clippers. Even Chris Paul — fresh from some Bahama hang-time at the Atlantis Resort with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony — was willing to join the Jordan love fest, which was interesting because Jordan’s decision to bolt for Dallas supposedly had as much to do with his strained relationship with Paul as it did with the $80 million the Mavs have dangled.
Free agents are typically considered off-limits once they strike a verbal agreement with a team during the NBA’s annual moratorium period, but ESPN’s Marc Stein reported the Clippers started lobbying Jordan after he called Rivers on Monday and revealed having second thoughts about joining the Mavericks.
Meanwhile, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban arrived in Houston earlier Wednesday to try to fend off the threat.
How big is Jordan for the Clippers and their future? J.J. Redick revealed the extent Tuesday in an interview with Bleacher Report Radio. He too was heading to Houston to join the team’s groveling.
“Listen, we had one priority this summer, and that was to re-sign D.J., and we missed out on that,” Redick told Bleacher Report Radio on Tuesday. “So barring some miracle, (the) makeup of our team is completely different now.”
He added: “Is there an F-minus?”
On a related note, how woulld Bulls fans grade their team’s offseason?
Do Gar Forman and John Paxson get an “A” for re-signing Jimmy Butler and Mike Dunleavy while also hiring Fred Hoiberg, whom the Bulls believe to be the next Steve Kerr — or, at the least, the anti-Tom Thibodeau.
Heck, Chicago even brought back Aaron Brooks.
Or do the Bulls get a “C” or worse for completing an uninspired to-do list?
The Jordan saga could conceivably have a Bulls plot line in the distance. Should Jordan keep his commitment and sign with the Mavericks, would you as a Bulls fan want the Bulls to see if the Clippers have interest in Joakim Noah or Taj Gibson?
It pains me as much as Noah’s bum knee to say it, but I would listen to any and all offers for Noah. Especially considering this will likely be Noah’s last year with the Bulls, with his final season salary of $13 million much healthier than he likely will be moving forward.