In a conference call on Monday, free agent point guard Jason Kidd said that, though his preference is to re-sign with the Dallas Mavericks, he also would consider signing with three different teams: the Chicago Bulls, Brooklyn Nets and the Knicks.
Kidd said his willingness to be a Knick is due to how “fun” it would be to play with promising young point guard Jeremy Lin, who the Knicks have made their main priority this off-season to re-sign.
While its nice to hear players wanting to play in the Big Apple, would signing Kidd be a help to the Knicks goal of returning to a constant, winning formula?
In this scenario, I don’t think there is a reason not to give a serious run at Jason Kidd on the open market. Last year in Dallas, he started every one of the 48 games he played last season and was effective, even with a reduced role due to age (he’s 39). He averaged a career-low 5.5 assists in a career-low 28.7 minutes a night.
However, his value would be tremendous in everything he would do off the court and in the training room with Jeremy Lin. He would almost be a player-coach, being able to teach Lin the finer nuances to being a productive NBA point guard. There’s a reason why Kidd has started all but 13 of the 1,315 games over his 19-year career.
There’s also the likeliness that Kidd will play the 2012-13 season for the veteran’s minimum. Its imperative the Knicks find not just cheap, but useful pieces to fill out their bench and built a productive roster. Kidd would go a long way to answering some of the Knicks key off-season questions (back-up point guard, mentor for Lin).
And though he is a shadow of what he used to be offensively, he’s still a great distributor. Kidd’s unique ability to always find the open man in the offensive set is remarkable. He can also hit an open three when he has the opportunity.
So, the only obstacle keeping the Knicks from a full-fledged pursuit of Kidd is his initial desire to re-sign in Dallas. Should the Mavericks move in a different direction and not re-up with the veteran point, the Knicks should absolutely move to the front of the Knicks off-season agenda.