NBA Season Preview 2018-19: 10 players who will struggle with their new teams

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 29: DeMarcus Cousins #0 of the Golden State Warriors enters the arena during a pre-season game against the the Minnesota Timberwolves on September 29, 2018 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 29: DeMarcus Cousins #0 of the Golden State Warriors enters the arena during a pre-season game against the the Minnesota Timberwolves on September 29, 2018 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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DALLAS, TX – SEPTEMBER 29: DeAndre Jordan #6 and Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks talk on the bench during a preseason game against the Beijing Ducks at American Airlines Center on September 29, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX – SEPTEMBER 29: DeAndre Jordan #6 and Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks talk on the bench during a preseason game against the Beijing Ducks at American Airlines Center on September 29, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /

3. DeAndre Jordan, Dallas Mavericks

With no chairs in front of doors this time around to keep it from happening, the Dallas Mavericks now have DeAndre Jordan on their roster. The 30-year old big man was the last remaining vestige of Lob City with the Clippers, but now it is gone entirely and he will team up with a promising young Mavericks roster to hopefully provide a spark in the frontcourt.

Jordan’s production over the past few seasons, even with Lob City dissipating, hasn’t dropped off all that much. Last year, the big man averaged 12 points, 15.2 rebounds and 0.9 blocks per game. What’s more, he also actually shot a career-best 58 percent from the free throw line, a marked improvement for the center. Thus, it’s reasonable to think that he’s about the same player as he has been for some time.

When watching Jordan last year, however, it was clear that he’s not that same player. He’s still incredibly athletic for his size, which makes him valuable, but he’s not nearly as explosive as he once was. This was most evident on the defensive end of the floor. Where he was once a dominant rim-protector, he slipped in a big way last year both in terms of blocks and overall effectiveness.

With that being the case, it’s hard to imagine the Mavericks being exceptionally pleased with their investment in Jordan. He may produce some highlights alongside Dennis Smith Jr. and Luka Doncic, but he’s not going to be a game-changer for their frontcourt. Again, “struggle” is a relative term, but it applies here in regards to meeting expectations.