The Captain\’s Future

Jason Kidd is the franchise. From the darkness of a 26-56 campaign and years of misery he led us to the light with 2 consecutive trips to the NBA Finals and 6 straight years of postseason basketball. Now all the talk is of trading the franchise away, ending what all consider to be the high point in Nets history. Yes, he sat out Wednesday\’s game against the Knicks; some argue with legitimate migraines, others say he was \”on strike\”. Either way, we should examine the ramifications of making any moves that involve the Captain.*

Option 1 – Sign Kidd to an extension
Kidd himself said that his agent, Jeff Schwartz, had talks with the Nets about a contract extension. Original reports said Kidd had asked for somewhere around $24 million, although this was rebuffed with later reports of around $13 million. The dialogue is still going on between Thorn and Schwartz, which leads me to believe this is the most likely course of action. By the time Kidd\’s original contract is up, the Nets will be moving to Brooklyn (hopefully not if you\’re a fan of The Rock in Newark, like myself, and want to see NJ\’s team stay in the state) and who better to break it in than the new school Nets, featuring Marcus, Antoine, RJ, Le Freak Elastique, and Nenad with VC and JKidd leading the bench. Although this scenario is highly unlikely in today\’s basketball landscape, it would be fun to start a new era with some old faces. Kidd said that he would like to retire a Net, and I have no reason not to believe him.

Option 2 – Trade Kidd
No matter how you slice or dice it, this option would have monumental repercussions for this franchise. Between getting something of value in return and alienating an entire fan base built during Kidd\’s tenure here, a trade would probably lead to 2 or 3 years of cost-cutting measures before the Brooklyn move. The Lakers would probably offer a package of youngsters and draft picks that would get us nowhere quickly and if you look around the league, there aren\’t that many enticing offers. Also, the main target of media people has been Cleveland, but Kidd himself stated that \”Cleveland is not one of my destinations.\” The only offer that I as a Nets fan, from purely a basketball standpoint, would even look at is Dallas\’. The Mavs can offer some package that includes Devin Harris, Jason Terry, Josh Howard, draft picks, and expiring deals. If the Nets were able to trade Kidd for, let\’s say Harris, Howard, and picks, then they would have to consider it. I wouldn\’t be very happy losing my favorite player of all-time, but at least this gives the Nets a chance to win now and do damage down the road as well.

Any time a team trades their franchise player, the results are usually not very positive. If this holds true for the Nets as well, they might think of adding pieces by trading a package of reserves and picks and seeing what is out there. Many believe that only one more piece is needed to bring the Nets out of mediocrity and into the upper echelon of the NBA. This is season has been a disappointment to say the least, but between the injuries and other distractions swirling around, there is still hope that this season will be a good one. Remember, the Nets are notorious for starting the season badly and finishing with a flourish, which is the same way this season looks to be playing out. In the next month Marcus Williams, Darrell Armstrong, and Nenad Krstic are expected to be back and help shore up the bench for a long run in the playoffs. Lets hope that the Captain, the Franchise, is still here to see it.

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