Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Boston owns Dallas’ first-round pick in the 2016 draft as part of its haul in the Rajon Rondo trade last December. The pick is top-seven protected, but that would seemingly only come into play if the Mavericks elected to purposely tank.
While Dallas owner Mark Cuban said the Mavericks had considered going that route if they didn’t land Jordan — this when Cuban assumed the big man would honor his commitment to come to Dallas — it would seem that Dallas has enough remaining talent to not be among the league’s bottom feeders. Would the Mavericks really tank in the twilight of Dirk Nowitzki’s career?
ESPN Boston – Celtics could benefit from DeAndre Jordan saga
The night that resurrected one franchise and devastated another played out in absurdity, reported in real time as history’s most amicable hostage crisis. Jordan broke no rule save for the functional binding of the NBA’s moratorium. Each of the dozens of agreements made since July 1 are considered all but official. Jordan’s word to join the Mavericks on a four-year, $80 million contract was apparently the lone exception.
Sports Illustrated – Jordan’s reversal keeps Clippers contending, brings Mavs’ undoing
Yesterday was, no doubt, the wildest day ever in NBA free agency. It had two teams in crisis mode, dueling over an elite free agent; a shocking renege on a verbal contract agreement; reports of a lockdown in the free agent’s home; a former Celtics coach and captain in the middle of it all; and NBA Twitter in its full glory, highlighted by a wacky emoji battle.
At the end of the day, literally, DeAndre Jordan re-signed with the Clippers, but forfeited whatever integrity he may have possessed. Jordan not only jilted the Mavericks, he reportedly wouldn’t even talk with Dallas owner Mark Cuban to explain himself. That’s a junior high school move, made infinitely worse because at stake were millions of dollars and the futures of two franchises.
Celtics fans watched with interest because of the involvement of Doc Rivers and Paul Pierce, and more to the point, because Boston owns the Mavs’ first-round pick. Most of us likely feel sympathy for Mavs fans – but not too much.
The next shoe to drop will be Cuban’s response. Verbal agreements are unofficial, and it appears Jordan broke only an unwritten rule. Cuban may not have any actual recourse, but he’ll come up with something. Billionaires don’t usually take setbacks lying down.
The NBA may have to alter the free agency period in some way to prevent this circus from repeating. But that’s down the road. The league’s priority now will be to schedule the Clippers for a nationally televised visit to Dallas, ASAP.
Related: Fort Worth Star-Telegram – DeAndre Jordan breaks agreement with Mavericks, re-signs with Clippers | ESPN – 5-on-5: DeAndre Jordan sticks with Clippers
On Page 2: It’s July 9, time to do the paperwork
The Celtics are set to drop below the salary cap for the first time in nearly two decades and, in doing so, must carefully plot their moves in order to maximize the space they are creating.
In the aftermath of reports that the Celtics would acquire Lee and his bulky $15.5 million contract, former Brooklyn Nets assistant general manager Bobby Marks said, “Not sure how Mike Z in BOS will make it work but possible.”
That’s Mike Zarren, Boston’s assistant general manager and team counsel. A Harvard Law School and University of Chicago grad, he’s the team’s brainy capologist who has helped structure deals to maximize the return for Boston.
ESPN Boston – Creative Celtics
As everyone well knows, the NBA’s moratorium period ended at 12:01 a.m. today, and player contracts could be signed. The league’s new salary cap kicked in, too. It’s now $70 million, which reports say place the Celtics around $7-8 million under the cap. With the complexity of the cap structure and collective bargaining agreement, it’s reassuring that Boston has a “brainy” expert in place to handle all the steps for the Celtics’ front office. In his own way, Zarren is just as valuable to the franchise as Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens.
Related: ESPN – NBA sets 2015-16 salary cap at record $70M for 11 percent increase | Basketball Insiders – Boston Celtics Team Salary
And, Finally: High comedy with emojis
— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) July 8, 2015
— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) July 9, 2015
Among all the emoji silliness that developed from the Jordan saga, Celtic-for-life Paul Pierce probably stole the show with his tweets of what looked like clip art. Pierce was widely mocked for being ancient and not understanding smart phones. Laugh it up, whippersnappers, but as a member of the older generation, I have no doubt: PP just trolled all of Twitter.
Related: ESPN – Clippers, Mavs in emoji race for DeAndre Jordan | Sporting News – Internet has field day with DeAndre Jordan’s free agency meltdown
The Rest of the Links:
Herald – Danny Ainge, Brad Stevens still need proven scorer to contend | MassLive – Boston Celtics mailbag | CSNNE – Celtics’ strategy: Make themselves good and attractive | San Jose Mercury News – Warriors outgrew David Lee | Providence Journal – On matters of race, basketball was a game-changer