NBA Rumors: Mavericks to Pursue DeMarcus Cousins, DeAndre Jordan, Julius Randle

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 21, 2018

New Orleans Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins walks on the court in street clothes during the first half of Game 3 of the team's first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers in New Orleans, Thursday, April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Veronica Dominach)
Veronica Dominach/Associated Press

The Dallas Mavericks' long-running pursuit of a franchise big man will apparently continue this summer. 

Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer reported the Mavs plan to pursue DeMarcus Cousins, DeAndre Jordan and Julius Randle in free agency this summer. Cousins and Jordan will be unrestricted free agents, while the Los Angeles Lakers will have right of refusal on Randle, who is a restricted free agent.

Dallas has been on the market for an elite center since allowing Tyson Chandler to walk following the team's 2011 championship. The Mavs went all-in on pursuits of Dwight Howard and Jordan in the past, the latter verbally agreeing to a contract before backing out to re-up with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban clearly wasn't pleased about the incident, as there is a somewhat unwritten rule the Clippers broke renegotiating with Jordan after he had already agreed to come to Dallas. The fiasco is one of the most memorable offseason stories in recent memory. 

"If you f--k with me I f--k with you back. That's just my nature," Cuban told reporters in 2015.

Dallas has essentially bowed out of contesting the last two seasons, finishing with a 24-58 record in 2017-18. The record is the franchise's worst under Cuban's ownership. 

Jordan seems likely to leave the Clippers after the team traded away Chris Paul and Blake Griffin over the last year. He is the last remaining piece of the Big Three that's responsible for the best stretch of play in franchise history.

The Mavericks appear undaunted by Jordan's runaway bride tactics, if they actually plan to make him a priority.

Nor do they appear especially worried about their own buyer's remorse with Wesley Matthews' Achilles injury, should they choose to go after Cousins. The All-Star big man ruptured his Achilles in January. The injury is considered one of the worst, if not the worst, injury for a basketball player. History is littered with star-level talent that unsuccessfully attempted to make a comeback from the injury.

Depending on his contractual demands, Randle might wind up being a repeat of another mistake. The Mavs recently learned the pitfalls of maxing out a young player just to get a "win" in free agency with Harrison Barnes. 

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