In their mad scramble to bring in Deron Williams, could the Dallas Mavericks ultimately lose out on both him and Jason Kidd?
Following their 2011 championship run, Mark Cuban and the Mavericks very clearly took their foot off the gas. Cuban, an owner who attained his fan favorite status largely because of his undying dedication to pursuing victory -- regardless of how big a dent it left in his wallet -- suddenly became very reluctant to spend cash on free agents. His players, in turn, entered their title defense campaign out of shape and with a certain lackadaisicalness about them that more or less took them out of championship contention from the jump.
The end result was a sweep at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of this year’s playoffs.
Cuban’s reluctance to spend money last year was largely attributed to a couple of factors: 1.) the new CBA, which absolutely destroys teams that go over the cap, and 2.) his assumed desire to bring in Williams this summer.
Well, this summer is almost officially upon us, and Dallas now has enough cap space to offer Williams a max deal – the most any team not named the Brooklyn Nets can bring to the table. Whether that’s going to be enough to lure him in or not is something that we’ll have to take a wait-and-see approach on.
Williams’ status, regardless of what he decides, also impacts another point guard free agent – Jason Kidd. At 39 years old Kidd no longer commands the attention he used to, but he’s still seen as someone who could play a key leadership role on a championship contending squad. Up to this point, rumors have tied him to a variety of teams including, but not limited to the Mavericks and Nets.
Yes, the same Nets who are currently competing with the Mavericks for Williams’ love and affection. As reported by Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News:
The future Hall of Famer, who will become a free agent on July 1, said Monday that owner Mikhail Prokhorov and the move to Brooklyn are alluring aspects of why he's considering a reconnection with the Nets.
But Williams "is the key."
"My days of playing 38 minutes are over," said Kidd, 39, adding that he'd be okay with being a backup for the first time in his career. "We (Williams and I) could play off each other and hopefully be successful."
For what it’s worth, Kidd also noted that he would also be very open to the prospect of returning to the Mavericks next year – even if it's just for a one-year deal. Per the report:
Kidd said he'd like to re-sign with the Mavericks — adding that he's open to taking a one-year deal — but it's clear Dallas would need to bolster its roster in order to alleviate the strain on aging legs.
If Kidd is really looking to have as limited a role next year as he appears to be indicating, that significantly reduces his changes of ending up with the Chicago Bulls or Miami Heat.
Both of those teams were considered to be potential suitors, but both need guys who can play larger parts in the offense than Kidd seems to want to. Maybe Miami would be able to utilize him in a Derek Fisher-esque role, but clearly it would be better for them to just bring in Steve Nash. And the Bulls, in light of Derrick Rose’s precarious status for next season, would definitely need someone who can play more minutes.
Kidd’s eventual landing spot -- and how Williams influences it -- will definitely be one of this summer's more interesting subplots to keep an eye on.
(Kudos N.Y. Daily News)