The DeAndre Jordan tenure in Dallas was supposed to start three years ago, so maybe the Mavs should've seen this coming. Despite the team's slow start, DJ has good numbers through his first 13 games this season. He's averaging a double-double per game, 11.3 points and 13.7 rebounds, the latter of which is a top-three mark in the Association so far this season. He's also sporting the fifth-highest rebounding percentage this year.
But the numbers mask a growing resentment among Jordan's teammates, who believe he's been acting selfish, says Tim MacMahan of ESPN. According to him, Jordan has "rubbed teammates the wrong way with what they perceive as selfish play."
He points to a defensive rebound Jordan snatched from Luka Doncic as evidence he's only playing for his next deal. Watching him throw a forearm shiver in the Dallas rookie's back before tipping the ball to himself.
DJ's response to the stat-padding controversy was to deflect: "I guess I've been poaching for the past 11 years," he told the Dallas Morning News on Monday. "I feel like every rebound that comes off is mine. So I am guilty of that. But honestly, when I'm going for the ball, I don't really look for anybody else."
He continued: "Honestly, I didn't even see how it looked until after the game. But we saw the play and we talked about what people have said about it. Social media is insane. But we've talked about it."
Coach Rick Carlisle, as no-nonsense a figure as there is in the NBA, was asked if it was a bit much. "A little bit," he said. After winning their last two and three of their last four, some of the anger with DJ probably dissipated. However, MacMahon also mentioned Jordan's apparent disinterest in help-side defense. It's hard to really to offer anything beyond almost blind speculation because every time we turn on a Mavs game, we're obsessively watching Luka.
But DJ is sporting the second-best defensive on/off for the team, as of this writing, so it's unclear if that's a trend MacMahan has noticed, or DJ's teammates are pointing out because it's scheme specific. It could definitely be true because defensive acumen is notoriously hard to track, and the defensive on/off can be fickle, especially with such a tiny sample size. If teammates are disgruntled about DJ in Dallas, it's worth keeping an eye on because plenty of contenders might want to take a one-year flier on him if they need to shore up their rim protection.