Here's what I know: apparently nothing. One thing I certainly do not know is why DeAndre Jordan thought it was a good decision to leave the Los Angeles Clippers, the only NBA team he's ever known and a team where he has thrived to the point of being third team All-NBA this season, for the Dallas Mavericks.
But here are a few things I believe:
If DeAndre Jordan thinks he is going to be a bigger star in Dallas than he was in Los Angeles, he is wrong. Write it down now and come back and check it four years from now, but my prediction (and it's not overly bold) is that 2015 will go down as the high water mark of Jordan's career. Third team All-NBA, first team All-NBA Defense, third in Defensive Player of the Year voting -- he won't reach those levels in Dallas.
Nor will he win more games in Dallas than he did in Los Angeles. The Clippers have won 56 or 57 games each of the last three seasons. I do not expect the Mavs to win that many games in any of the four seasons of the contract that Jordan just signed. Again, check back in 2019 to see if I'm correct.
Somehow the Mavericks convinced DeAndre that he is a player he is not. Or maybe he is -- but as it happens, they don't have much grasp on reality in Dallas, at least based on what Mark Cuban says.
We showed him [Jordan] with our current cast he can average 20-20 a game, and he did - when Blake [Griffin] was out, he averaged 24 points, 20 rebounds, 2.3 blocks, it was ridiculous.
So, first of all, DeAndre Jordan can't average 20-20. Put another way, NO ONE -- not Shaquille O'Neal, not Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, not Hakeem Olajuwon, not the blue alien in Space Jam -- has averaged 20-20 in 45 years, since Wilt Chamberlain in 1969. It's a laugh line. It's akin to Cuban telling DeAndre "Come to Dallas, because in our system you can be the next president of the United States."
Second of all, Jordan did not average 24 points and 20 rebounds while Griffin was out of the lineup -- he averaged 14.9 points and 18.5 rebounds, which is really, really good, but NOT 24 and 20. So when Cuban says that something is ridiculous, he's right -- his tendency toward hyperbole is indeed ridiculous.
Did Jordan hate Chris Paul? Maybe. But most of all, Jordan drank some Kool-Aid down in Dallas and no one in his camp had the common sense to call bullshit on the hard sell.
It's difficult to put a positive spin on this situation for the Clippers or for Clippers fans. As I've said all along, there really is no Plan B. Do you want to take a flyer on rehabbing the career of JaVale McGee or Andrew Bynum? Sign and trades and trade exceptions and the rest of the Mid Level Exception and trades -- none of that is going to fetch much; not in this market.
From a fan's perspective, I will say this: the Clippers will obviously enter the season with much lower expectations, and that could be fun. At least it's what we're accustomed to. A small ball lineup with Griffin at center, a lot of threes, a fast pace -- they'll win a lot of games, they'll make the playoffs. When the trade deadline rolls around and veteran bigs hit the buy out market, they're going to line up to play for the Clippers, a team without a single true center on the roster as of this moment. That's really your plan B right there -- keep your options open and see what shakes out in February.
And having those options open? It also means having cap space next summer. Recovering from this situation is certainly not inconceivable. It's a long shot, but Los Angeles is still a great market and Griffin and Paul are still great players in their prime, so luring a major free agent to play for the Clippers in 2016 is not out of the realm of possibility.
Kevin Durant in a Clippers uniform? It's certainly not as ridiculous as DeAndre Jordan averaging 20 and 20,