If you were to judge according to Twitter, DeAndre Jordan is the most coveted free agent in NBA history. What happened five years ago glued everyone to their phones as we weren’t really sure if this was real or another “mars attacks” situation.
Until 2015, starting at 6:01 p.m. on June 30, teams could negotiate deals with free agents but couldn’t officially sign them until Noon on July 8. This period is known as the Free Agency Moratorium. In those six days, NBA accountants calculate the cap and luxury tax, so teams and players know the rules of engagement.
Free agency of 2019 demonstrated that no-one cares about tampering. Woj was tweeting out contract details seconds after Free Agency started. 2015 was no different – soon after it was possible, it was announced that DeAndre Jordan and the Dallas Mavericks reached an agreement on a four-year, $80 million contract. DJ had enough of Chris Paul screaming at him and decided to go back home to Texas.
For the Clippers, this meant the end of an era. The team had failed in the playoffs time and time again, and their cap situation made it impossible to replace Jordan’s contribution on the floor. What follows is a series of tweets as they unfolded in 2015.
If you check out the time stamp from Stein’s first tweet to Pierce showing DJ signing with the Clippers – all this happened in 12 hours. After the fact, Cuban called out Broussard for his tweet but did say he couldn’t get in touch with Jordan.
Jordan’s reputation surprisingly didn’t take that much of a hit considering how royally he fu*** the Mavericks. Thinking they had their staring center locked in, the Mavs signed Wes Matthews to a massive deal, convinced they were building a contender. By the time Jordan changed his mind, any semblance of a starting NBA center wasn’t available anymore. Cuban later explained to which extent Jordan’s change of heart messed up their plans.
“We wanted to get Wes, he was a target for us all summer, and obviously DeAndre as well, but if we got shut out, we weren’t going to just try to fill the roster. We had the discussion that if we couldn’t get a serious free agent, whether it was one of the guys still out there or some of the guys who already went, then it was time to take a step back.”Mark Cuban, Dallas News
As a consequence, the Moratorium period was moved from July 8th to July 6th. The Clippers would continue to lose in the playoffs, and DeAndre joined Dallas in 2018.
P.S. Yes, Paul Pierce tweeting a screenshot of an emoji actually happened and is still one of the funniest NBA moments ever.