Did Jason Kidd Make The Right Decision Signing With The New York Knicks?
A few days ago, it looked like the Dallas Mavericks were on the brink of returning to championship form. Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams was a free agent and looking to possibly sign with the Mavs. Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash was considering a return to his former team. And, at worst, the Mavs were still considering re-signing their starting point guard from last year Jason Kidd to a new three-year deal. But, Williams returned to BK, Nash got traded to the Los Angeles Lakers and then, late yesterday, Kidd shocked Mavs fans—and many New York Knicks fans, for that matter—by deciding to take his talents to the Big Apple to play for the Knickerbockers next season. He’ll either play point alongside Jeremy Lin—a restricted agent who signed an offer sheet with the Houston Rockets but could very likely be back in royal blue and orange next season—or hold down the fort as the Knicks starting PG next season. So, did he make the right decision?
Yes…and no. On the one hand, the Mavs are in a
little bit hell of a tailspin right now. Since winning the 2011 NBA championship, they’ve seemingly lost their passion for playing at a high level. They got bumped out of the 2012 NBA Playoffs in a clean sweep by the Oklahoma City Thunder. Then, they lost shooting guard Jason Terry to free agency. And, uh, go back and read the first paragraph again—they’re not exactly a highly sought after place for free agents to sign right now. Despite owner Mark Cuban‘s deep pockets, no one wants to play for the Mavs right now because they’re stuck with a pretty mediocre lineup outside of Dirk Nowitzki in a Western Conference that’s getting tougher and tougher to compete in.
On the other hand, Kidd is at the end of his career and can’t play at the high level he once did, and he’s going to have a lot of pressure on him to produce in New York City. They don’t care that he’s only got a little bit of gas left in the tank. They want him to lead the team to the Eastern Conference Finals and, hopefully, the NBA Finals. Anything less is simply unacceptable. That same pressure wouldn’t be on him in Dallas. It’s also not like he’s getting a huge pay raise to play for the Knicks. New York and Dallas both offered him about $9 million for three years of service.
So, at this point, we’ll just have to wait and see exactly how Kidd fits into the Knicks rotation. Unlike Steve Nash departing the Phoenix Suns for the Los Angeles Lakers, we don’t see Kidd’s impact being all that great on the Knicks. But, if Lin does come back and Kidd can help him mature as a player, that might be a best-case scenario for all parties involves.
Except the Mavericks, of course. They just can’t win right now.