Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan is “top target” for Dallas Mavericks


Feb 9, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (6) during the game against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers may want to resign DeAndre Jordan, but that won’t stop the Dallas Mavericks going after him in free agency. As at this early stage of the offseason, the two key big men that the Mavs are targeting are LaMarcus Aldridge of the Portland Trail Blazers, and the Clippers’ All-NBA third team center.

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After their turbulent end to the season since the Mavericks acquired Rajon Rondo from the Boston Celtics, Dallas were only able to hang onto the 7th seed in the Western Conference and were almost swept by the Houston Rockets in the first round, after losing the series 4-1. Now that free agency is well and truly upon us, they’re looking to sign a new franchise center to begin their road back to contention.

As no matter how sad it is, they do need to consider who they have onboard when the 37 year old Dirk Nowitzki decides to retire.

He’s been the face of the franchise for years and has emerged as one of the top few power forwards of all time. But now it’s time that Dallas consider the future. And according to a report by Tim MacMahon of ESPN, they have two primary targets in mind:

"The top targets are third-team All-NBA center DeAndre Jordan and perennial All-Star power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, with the Mavs hoping to sign one of them to a max contract. Dallas is Aldridge’s hometown, but [Chandler] Parsons likely has more pull with Jordan, who is also represented by agent Dan Fegan."

"If they get Jordan — or miss out on both top targets, hopefully keeping Chandler in that case — the Mavs will look to invest in a shooting guard whose game would mesh well with Parsons’."

Aldridge certainly seems like the kind of offensive center that would suit the Mavericks perfectly, as his post-up dominance, signature fadeaway jumper and mid range shooting are the closest resemblance they’ll be able to find to replace Dirk (except for the three point shooting). On the other hand, they could choose to add an All-Defensive first team center with Jordan — a player with startling athleticism, who can protect the rim and control the boards better than anyone.

Apr 15, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks center Tyson Chandler (6) guards Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) during the game at the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks defeated the Trail Blazers 114-98. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Clippers’ All-NBA third team center led the league with 15 rebounds per game this season, and combined with his 2.2 blocks per game and powerful presence in the paint, Jordan was able to rank 1st in defensive win shares with 5.4.

Jordan’s dominance inside would be extremely valuable to the Mavericks, as they only ranked 18th in defensive efficiency and a dismal 30th in rebounding rate. Equally, Dallas could target an elite offensive weapon and perennial All-Star to build their team around.

Rick Carlisle’s fluid offense and heavy use of the pick-and-roll does fit Aldridge’s game perfectly, as his 44.8 percent shooting from 3-10 feet out and 41.5 percent shooting from 16 feet makes him an excellent pick-and-pop option that they could revolve their offense around. With Dirk ageing and Monta Ellis set for free agency (since opting out of his contract), Aldridge could come in as the new focal point of their offense.

If the Mavericks are able to sign either of their two top targets, they’ll at least have an anchor for one end of the floor. However, Doc Rivers has expressed how highly he regards DeAndre Jordan on several occasions, and since May he’s been saying that it’s likely he’ll be offered a max contract (per Arash Markazi of ESPN).

Thankfully for the Clippers, it will be hard for the Mavericks to tempt Jordan away from his situation with two All-NBA caliber superstars in Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, and a devoted head coach with Doc Rivers.

L.A. need him, and there isn’t a replacement available on the market who offers his combination of athleticism, rebounding and defense. For the sake of the Clippers, hopefully the Mavericks will push harder to sign Aldridge and acquire their offensive star for years to come instead.

Next: 2015 NBA Draft: Should Clippers target PF Christian Wood?