Friday, July 6, 2012
Jason Kidd Signs With Knicks. How Much Will He Contribute?
In a rather surprising announcement, ESPN's Marc Stein reports the Knicks have come to an agreement on a three year, $9 million contract with Hall of Fame bound point guard Jason Kidd.
Though when free agency began, there were rumblings of negotiations between the two sides, the likes of Steve Nash, Jeremy Lin, and Raymond Felton were all regarded as higher on the priority list than Kidd. Nevertheless, the veteran guard has spurned the Mavericks for a chance to play in Madison Square Garden.
Kidd can certainly help the Knicks in a number of ways, be it mentoring Lin (should he return) or helping Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire understand one another better on the hardwood. There's no denying his impact as a veteran championship winning player, nor as an intelligent floor general.
That said, a three year pact for a player 39 years of age is a bit steep. Coming off the weakest season of his career, Kidd only averaged 6.2 points, 5.5 assists, and 1.7 steals in 28.7 minutes per game this year in Dallas. Can playing alongside such offensive firepower such as STAT and Melo inject some more life into Kidd and elevate his numbers? Or perhaps he will continue a steady decline as he ages.
Kidd's level of play and production remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure: the Knicks will just be grateful and consider themselves lucky to have a player of his caliber. Though the impact he will have through his voice on and off the court will be expected to elevate the team, New York cannot possibly be expecting Kidd to fill up the stat sheet at this point in his career.
The veteran point guard himself has likely been mentally preparing himself for a reserve role this offseason as it is due to the fact that one way or another, Kidd was widely linked to Deron Williams' forthcoming destination.
Though he won't be moving to Brooklyn for a second tour of duty with the Nets to join Williams, Kidd still gets the opportunity to take a bite out of the Big Apple by donning orange and blue. It remains to be seen whether or not the Knicks will ultimately choose to keep Lin in the fold, pairing the Hall of Fame bound floor general with a young stud to pass on some of his greatness to.
While Kidd's departure to New York simply comes as a shock due to earlier reports of a close deal with the Mavericks, it should come as no surprise that he ultimately decided to end his tenure in Dallas.
Despite Dirk Nowitzki still acting as the team's centerpiece, the Mavs allowed both Tyson Chandler and Jose Barea to depart following their championship win last year. Gunning for the chance to reel in hometown kid Deron Williams to town, the team sacrificed much of its veteran talent. Even after failing to lure Williams, Dallas still didn't stop the likes of Jason Terry, Lamar Odom, (and now) Kidd from changing teams this summer.
As it stands, the Knicks have a better chance at bringing home a championship trophy than Dallas. Kidd could be a major part of that, should he step up when the team needs his leadership most: in the postseason. That appears possible too, as the guard took a page out of Kevin Garnett's book, averaging an impressive 11.5 points. 6 rebounds, 6 assists, and even 3 steals per game during this past postseason.