DeAndre Jordan rejoins Clippers, snubs Mavericks

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Thursday, July 9, 2015

DeAndre Jordan, after verbally agreeing to a four-year max deal with the Dallas Maverickslast week, has made an about-face, re-signing with theLos Angeles Clippersin a deal ESPN sources say was completed Thursday morning shortly after midnight ET at his house in Houston.

The contract with the Clippers also is a four-year max deal that will be worth an estimated $88 million, sources told ESPN. Jordan can opt out after three years.

The Clippers quickly trumpeted the deal in a tweet.

A Clippers contingent that included coach/team president Doc Rivers, owner Steve Ballmer and star teammates Chris Paul and Blake Griffin descended en masse on Houston to get Jordan back, meeting him at his house.

Several of the Clippers contingent remained after the end of the meeting, staying until he was to sign the deal, which the center was first able to do at 12:01 a.m. ET Thursday when a leaguewide moratorium was lifted.

The meeting didn't last long, a source said. The group talked about the issues at hand, and then the atmosphere changed to resemble a locker-room scene, including cards and video games.

New Clipper Paul Pierce and veteran guard J.J. Redickalso were among those to join Wednesday's meeting, sources said, with Pierce tweeting a photo of what appeared to be Jordan signing the deal.

Jordan did not respond to any of the Mavs' attempts to contact him Wednesday, including phone calls and text messages, and sources said Mavericks owner Mark Cuban resultingly notified several people within the organization that Jordan would be staying with the Clippers.

Sources told ESPN that the unprecedented fluidity of Jordan's free agency had convinced the Clippers they needed to stay at Jordan's side until he formally signed the new contract, given that Jordan had already changed his mind once in this process.

Jordan had verbally committed to the Mavericks for a four-year, $80-plus million max deal.

A Clippers source said Jordan initiated his change of heart a few days ago.

"He reached out to us and said, 'I changed my mind.' There was no convincing here," the source said.

Jordan was scheduled to leave on a 10-day Caribbean cruise Thursday.

Cuban and lead Mavericks recruiter Chandler Parsonsarrived Wednesday in Houston along with Jordan's primary agents from Relativity Sports -- Dan Fegan and Jarinn Akana -- who sources say were excluded from the Clippers' early-evening meeting with their client, although Akana was present during the signing.

Griffin also made light of the situation Wednesday night via Twitter.

Sources said Jordan reached out to Griffin and Rivers on Monday to say he had changed his mind about joining Dallas, prompting L.A.'s late push.

Free agents are traditionally considered off-limits once they strike verbal agreements with teams during the NBA's annual moratorium period.

Paul cut short a Caribbean vacation with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade to make the meeting.

Paul was emotional during the meeting, a source in the room told ESPN's Chris Broussard. Paul told Jordan he had no idea he felt negatively about him and that he thought they were "brothers."

Paul said he'd work to get Jordan more involved in the offense and that the Clippers couldn't move forward without him.

Cuban arrived in Houston on Wednesday as Dallas tried to fend off the Clippers' threat, sources said. The Mavs, sources said, had been promised another face-to-face meeting with Jordan at some point Wednesday before he made a final decision.

On Monday, though, Jordan had called Griffin and said he'd been having second thoughts about his decision over the weekend. Griffin urged him to call Rivers, who then began calling Clippers players and organizing a meeting Wednesday, in the hopes of getting Jordan to change his mind before the leaguewide moratorium ended.

Griffin flew to Houston on Tuesday to have dinner with Jordan, sources said.

Paul -- whose reportedly strained relationship with Jordan has been pinpointed as a factor in the center's initial decision to take Dallas' offer -- was among those pushing hardest in recent days for Jordan to change his mind, sources said.

The NBA's moratorium period at the start of July every year is designed to allow the league to calculate the precise new salary-cap and luxury-tax figures for the coming season.

But teams and players are allowed to come to verbal agreements during the moratorium starting July 1. The first seven days of 2015 free agency produced a frenzy that saw roughly 70 free agents come to terms on new contracts.

Information from ESPN's Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne and's Tim MacMahon was used in this report.

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