Marc Stein of the New York Times reported on Wednesday that the Mavericks are actively in trade talks with the Los Angeles Clippers to try to land Jordan this week before free agency begins on July 1. The All-Star center has to make a decision on his $24.1 million player option by Friday, and opting in could help facilitate a trade to Dallas.
If no agreement on a trade can be reached, he could still join Dallas by opting out of his deal and signing in free agency.
Stein notes that the Clippers have given Jordan and his agent permission to explore the trade market.
Jordan had verbally agreed to sign with the Mavericks during the moratorium period in 2015, but after giving Mark Cuban and Co. his word, he had a change of heart. That set off one of the most bizarre free-agent fiascos, as ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne and Tim MacMahon detailed, in the history of sports. After all, who could forget the Emoji War of 2015?
In the end, Jordan re-signed with the Clippers, spurning Cuban and the Mavs. That led to a public apology from the big man:
That apology didn't land with Cuban, via MacMahon and ESPN.com's Kevin Arnovitz: "When is an apology not an apology? When you didn't write it yourself. Next."
The Mavericks owner would also go on to make it clear that business isn't always easy: "Look, guys, s--t happens, right? This is business. This is the real world. You move on. There's lots of guys that haven't played for the Mavericks that are in the NBA."
Cuban has apparently moved on and once again wants to get Jordan in a Mavs uniform.
When Jordan re-signed with Los Angeles, the Clippers were legitimate contenders. However, both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin have been traded in the last year, leaving Jordan as the lone cornerstone remaining. Now, it might be time for the two sides to go their separate ways.