Farewell to Jason Edition

Farewell to Jason Edition

By: NBASCOUT / Special to netsinteractive.com

The NBA landscape changed a lot during the last month. Some of its biggest names have relocated to venues no one foresaw.

Gasol landed in Los Angeles, Shaq landed in Phoenix and now the indomnitable Jason Kidd has made his way to Dallas.*

The Nets traded Jason Kidd to the Mavericks yesterday because it was time to part ways. The status quo didn\’t seem to be working and that is how Jason Kidd got his wish to pursue his dream of an elusive ring down in Dallas.

If you want to get mushy about the details of Jason\’s tenure in the swamp up to his departure, read the endless stream of nostalgic retrospectives about Jason Kidd that will surely come out of the woodwork soon. For our purposes here, suffice to say that Jason Kidd did a lot of good things for the New Jersey Nets. The Nets also did a lot of good things for Jason. Thanks for the good times, Jason! Best wishes down in Dallas!

Nets President and GM Rod Thorn basically swapped starting point guards with Mark Cuban. Rod got a promising (but down with a severely sprained ankle) Devin Harris out of it and a couple of potentially meaningless (or significant depending on what he does with them) low draft picks to go with some cap relief and a few complementary role players.

By contrast, Cuban wanted someone who was currently in one piece that could win it all now that would be a fair bargain from his point-of-view. He seemed to get it when he swapped his injured, young, fragile and inexperienced rising young point-guard Devin Harris for a battle-hardened, playoff tested, perennial all-Star in Kidd. He wanted to make up for letting Nash go.

The rest of the deal was merely making the numbers work. Instead of shelling out $43mil over the next five years to Harris, with no assurance he\’d bring them any closer to winning it all than he did last year without stumbling (remember that Harris is hurt and may not have made it back to form in time to save Dallas\’ postseason), Cuban decided to invest about the same money long-term, with less up front, for Jason Kidd ($27mil prorated) over the course of the next two playoff runs with an option to extend for another two seasons at about $26mil (2 x $13mil) if all worked out.

In this manner, Dallas Owner Mark Cuban astutely put Jason Kidd at the helm of the controls of his beloved Mavericks for the inevitable title runs they\’ll invariably make during the next two (to as many as four years) that mark the closing window of opportunity for Dirk Nowitzki\’s career. In the process, Cuban didn\’t even give up any depth of note (Diop fell out of favor with Coach Johnson behind Bass) and, in fact, added a couple of very serviceable shooters and/or defenders in Texas A&M standout Antoine Wright and Malik Allen.

So, who got the better of this deal? Cuban for now, but only time will tell!

NBASCOUT is an independent freelance sportswriter that covers the NBA and the New Jersey Nets. He is not affiliated with the National Basketball Association. Copyright 2005-2008 by NBASCOUT, all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the express written consent of the author. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily this website. You may e-mail NBASCOUT in care-of his wife, who writes for children, at kathyforkids@cs.com

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