Rick Carlisle describes recent visit with ‘really excited’ DeAndre Jordan, why he had to cancel Slovenia-Luka Doncic trip 

It’s been 12 days since Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle traveled to Los Angeles to visit free agent signee DeAndre Jordan, but Carlisle has been out of pocket and we finally caught up with him via cellphone from Orlando, where he gave a clinic during the inaugural Jr. NBA World Championship.

Carlisle said he spent several hours with Jordan, on and off the court.

“I’ve spoken to him on the phone a lot, but it was the first time I’ve gotten together in person with him since he came with us,” Carlisle said. “It was great. He’s having a great summer and he’s in phenomenal shape.

“And he’s really excited to come on board.”

Visiting incoming Mavericks in their home environment is an annual Carlisle summer rite. Last year, Carlisle piloted his own plane to Fayetteville, N.C., to spend time with Dennis Smith Jr. and his family.

During last month’s NBA summer league in Las Vegas, it was widely reported, including by The Dallas Morning News, that Carlisle would travel to first-round pick Luka Doncic’s hometown, Ljubljana, Slovenia. Some news outlets, assuming Carlisle was in fact going, reported that he had indeed gone.

“I was on my way to the airport and then a personal situation came up,” Carlisle said, without elaborating. “Things are fine now. Very lucky. Very thankful.”

Carlisle said he hopes to still visit with Doncic in Slovenia some summer, but it won’t be this one. Carlisle said Doncic was scheduled to arrive in the United States on Thursday to take part in the annual, mandatory, four-day NBA rookie transition program.

Mavericks training camp still is six weeks away, beginning Sept. 22, but Carlisle unsurprisingly already is envisioning ways to incorporate the talents of Doncic, Jordan and other summer additions into Dallas’ offensive and defensive schemes.

During his clinic and question-answer session in Orlando, Carlisle was asked about this season’s Mavericks outlook.

“I told them I was obviously excited about our season this year,” Carlisle said. “With Dennis going into his second season and Harrison [Barnes] going into his third year with the Mavs and Doncic and [Jalen] Brunson being added, along with DeAndre Jordan, it’s a very exciting time to be a Mavericks fan.”