Here in Dallas this morning we are trying to recover from what went from a fairy tale NBA free agent signing to a team on the decline that is still on the decline.  You might not be an NBA fan or sports fan for that matter but picture this:  The Dallas Mavericks are several years out from an NBA championship so the expectations remain high here.  The problem is the Mavericks have not drafted well or been able to sign high end free agents.  Drum roll – and then DeAndre Jordan comes into the picture.  Even while the playoffs were still on, rumors of Jordan’s signing with the Mavericks were out there.  Jordan is a Houston native and attended Texas A&M.  He could sign with the Mavericks and return to his native Texas.  By the way, Jordan is a great rebounder, young, and very good.

The Mavericks and Dallas for that matter move into full on recruitment.  In addition to the Mavericks other Dallas luminaries like Tony Romo were involved in the push to get Jordan to Big D. Fast forward to last week and the celebration in Dallas.  Jordan agrees in prinicple for four years and $80 million.  All the Mavericks/Jordan had to do was paper the deal and they were on their way.  This is typically how NBA deals are done.  Except here, the LA Clippers (his former team) put on their own full court press.  I’ll spare you with the details but the Dallas Morning News has a good recount here. Late last night Jordan confirmed he is resigning with the Clippers and didn’t give the Mavericks a chance at changing his mind.  Word is Clippers representatives won’t leave Jordan’s side until he signs his new deal.  Wow.

This post is not critical of the Mavericks, Jordan’s move to go back to LA is not typical.  But, it does illustrate the point of having a signed employment agreement.  Whether if it’s a an $80 million NBA contract or non-compete agreement with a star employee.  Unless there is a signed deal an agreement in principle is merely an agreement to agree.  An agreement to agree in most circumstances is not enforceable.  Typically the agreement in principle will lead to the contract with all the lawyer provided bells and whistles, but always get it in writing.  Both to cement the deal and to ensure all the parties are clear on the terms as memories fade.

So for the Mavericks its back to the drawing board.  Unfortunately, it might be a tough season next year in Big D.