Friday, April 03, 2009

The Jason Kidd Imbroglio

There is a decision that is quickly approaching that I would like for you to consider this morning:

What do we do with the future of Jason Kidd?

First, some context:
On February 19, 2008, Kidd was officially traded to the Mavericks along with Malik Allen and Antoine Wright for Van Horn (via a sign and trade deal), Devin Harris, DeSagana Diop, Trenton Hassell, Maurice Ager, $3 million, Ryan Anderson (the future 2008 first round pick), and the 2010 first round pick.

According to this , Jason Kidd’s 2008-09 salary of $21.7 million puts his career earnings at roughly $157 million.

And, most importantly, his contract runs out in 2 weeks.

So, if you are the Dallas Mavericks, what do you do about your 36 year old Point Guard this summer?

Are you happy with his play? I am. Despite the very important factor about his age – which really does change everything else – his play this season has been absolutely fine. I have said this on several occasions, and although you may greatly disagree, I feel that the Mavericks record this season would not be the slightest bit better if Devin Harris was running this offense. I think Kidd’s play has been very solid, and if age wasn’t an issue, I would clearly keep him without hesitation.

He has kept his end of the bargain. The team isn’t good enough, but the play at PG has not been the reason, in my estimation.

But. Here is the issue with Jason Kidd. You want him on a simple one year contract. He has indicated that he isn’t interested in that sort of thing. Also, he was flirting with Cleveland this past week about joining them .

The respected David Moore wrote about this after the Cleveland game :
Speculate all you want about where Jason Kidd will wind up after this season. But keep one thing in mind: do you really think he will take a one-year contract at the mid-level exception?


Kidd has said he's not interested in a one-year deal or becoming a rent-a-player at this stage of his career. He's wants a commitment. One year isn't a commitment. It's a lease.

Can he change his mind? Sure. Who doesn't change their mind? But when assessing what the off-season holds for Kidd, don't dismiss what he's stated.

And don't underestimate the level at which he performs. His impact is well beyond that of someone who earns the mid-level exception.

First, for the Mavs: Do you want to A) sign a 36 year old PG to a 3 or 4 year deal? And B) if you do, are you willing to screw up your cap room situation in the summer of 2010? That, of course, takes you out of the dream acquisitions (and I emphasize the term “dream”) of Lebron, Wade, Bosh, or Amare.

But, if you don’t, then what kind of team do you have in 2009-10. And if you don’t, do you realize your horrible team would only be improving NEW JERSEY’s pick in the 2010 draft with each loss? Talk about a PR nightmare for Cuban. You gave up Devin Harris and those two picks for 1 season with Jason Kidd??? And all season long, as Dirk and a bunch of guys miss the playoffs because their PG is Barea or someone easy to acquire, all the Mavs fans and media can think about is that you are not even going to have your own draft pick!

Now, for Kidd: Do you want to be the full-time PG for Dallas (a middle of the road team in the West that doesn’t appear to have big plans for immediate improvement) or would you rather join the Cavaliers or Lakers in a “chase the ring” scenario that may have you on a contender, but may not have you as a starter. After making $157 million, money might not be a huge issue, and therefore the mid-level exception could be ok if he has a chance to get a ring in exchange.

The most ideal scenario of them all from a Dallas standpoint is that one–year deal for $12 million or so. You keep him in 2009-10, you don’t hurt the summer of 2010, and you can then keep him around for 2010-11 after you try to make your bold strike on the market next summer. But, he has played well enough this summer that if he settles for that, it is only because he decided to see things through in Dallas.

So, if you are Mark Cuban, how do you try to do this? I think this is a very tricky spot for the Mavs. If he was playing poorly, it would be an easy decision. If the Mavs were contenders right now it would be an easy decision. But, here they are with Kidd playing well, but the Mavs fighting for the #7 and #8 seed, and all of these details make this a real tough call.

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