The Third Domino Falls

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By David K.

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When the Suns pulled the trigger on bringing Shaq Diesel to the desert, a lot of people considered it a “panic” move.  With Phoenix and the Lakers (thanks to the Pau Gasol steal of a trade), Mavs owner Mark Cuban must have hated being out of the public spotlight.  On top of losing four of their last seven games, his team was once again taking a backseat to the Suns, Lakers, and Spurs in the West. 

Well, the third domino has fallen as the on-again, off-again, on-again Jason Kidd trade is officially official.  Cuban acquired Kidd, Antoine Wright, and Malik Allen from the Nets in exchange for Devin Harris, Trenton Hassell, DeSagana Diop, Maurice Ager, a retired Keith Van Horn, cash, and first-round draft picks in 2008 and 2010. 

I am not going to call this a panic move on the Mavs’ part, but I am not a huge fan of this trade for Dallas.  Yes, they get one of the best, most unselfish point guards in the history of the NBA, who can still bring triple-double potential to the table on a nightly basis.  Kidd will immediately help on the offensive end and should help take some of the strain off Dirk Nowitzki and Josh Howard.  The only thing is: when has offense ever been the problem in Dallas?  It’s always been their inability to turn up defensive pressure and their lacking of a true post presence that has been their kryptonite come playoff time. 

Dallas’ rotation figures to look like this:
PG: Kidd/Terry/Barea
SG: Eddie Jones/Stackhouse
SF: Howard/George/Wright
PF: Nowitzki/Bass/Allen/Juwan Howard/Fazekas
C: Dampier

As you can see, the backcourt play figures to be some of the best in the NBA, but are teams really going to be scared of seeing the likes of Erick Dampier/Brandon Bass/Malik Allen/Juwan Howard D’ing up Shaq or Gasol or Yao or Duncan inside?  Absolutely not!  Dallas needed to make a big-time move and kudos to Cuban for getting Kidd, but in the long run, this does not put the Mavs above the Lakers or Suns in the West.  Not until Dallas lands a true center to bang down low with the biggest bigs in the West will the Mavs be a true contender. 

As for the Nets, this was most likely the best-case scenario in terms of what they were going to get in exchange for Kidd and his massive salary.  In Devin Harris, New Jersey gets a potential franchise-type point guard to run the show.  Diop and George’s contracts come off the book after this season saving the Nets about $4.5 million in cap space.  The two first-round picks are nice, but likely will both be in the mid to late 20’s which usually translates into nothing more than a role player or someone who rarely ever sees the floor. The Nets may not be done as Vince Carter could be the next big piece moved out of New Jersey.

The real winner in this trade is Keith Van Horn, who, because of salary cap purposes, “came out of retirement” and signed a $4.3 million dollar deal for nothing.  Literally NOTHING.  He will not even break a sweat and still earn more than I likely will in my entire life.  To quote the kid from Superbad, “That’s the world I want to live in.”

One thing that is certain about this trade; between the Suns, Lakers, Mavs, Spurs, and on-the-rise Hornets in the West, the Celtics out East, WOW! are the NBA Playoffs shaping up to be the best in a long, long time.
Hawks steal Bibby

Chalk the Kings up with the Grizzlies in terms of teams that got robbed.  When fellow TSB.net writer Andy Weise text messaged me saying Mike Bibby was headed to the Hawks, my response was “For Josh Childress, Acie Law, Tyronn Lue, Lorenzen Wright, and a future first-rounder?”  No, instead Sacramento gets $9 million in the expiring contracts of Lue, Wright, Anthony Johnson, nothing more than a bench player in Shelden Williams, and a second round pick.  Really?  That is the best deal the Kings could up with?  That is as dumb a negotiation strategy as Kramer from “Seinfeld” taking free coffee for life as his settlement for the burns inflicted himself from the same coffee.

This by no means makes Atlanta a contender, but it does give them an experienced point guard to lead the show for a young team.  Bibby should make Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Al Horford, and Marvin Williams that much better.  And they were able to do so without losing anything in return.

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Comments

  1. Nice pics of Kidd and the family! Honestly — the New Jersey deal and Dallas deal makes sense for both teams. I think Kidd makes the Mavericks the favorite unless Bynum (Lakers) or Shaq (Suns) are healthy and playing good. Yes, the Spurs are the defending champs but those other three teams just got so much more powerful. Even the Celtics can’t stick with the top four teams in the west now! The Nets go into full rebuild mode and should definitely look at trading Vince Carter. Jefferson is still fairly young so they can build around Harris, Jefferson and the other pieces they continue to pile up with.

  2. Anyone but the Spurs! another Finals with them in it? yawn! Yeah, it is SI swimsuit issue time of year again, so I had to use the Kidd pics from a previous issue last year. Aren’t the Celtics undefeated against the West? oh, wait a Boston team going undefeated in the regular season, and then…..nevermind, dont need to bring that up again.

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