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.