Kidd Meets With Knicks

The Knicks are trying to persuade Jason Kidd to come to New York, while deciding how much they want David Lee and Nate Robinson to stay.

Kidd and his agent met with Knicks president Donnie Walsh and coach Mike D'Antoni at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, the first day of free agency. The Knicks are interested in the point guard, but plan to be cautious in free agency because they want to save salary cap space for the summer of 2010.

Walsh told reporters that no contract offer was made to Kidd, who is exploring his options. The Knicks hope he would consider a return to the New York area after starring for New Jersey before he was dealt to Dallas in February 2008.

The Mavericks also are interested in keeping Kidd, who was a member of the U.S. team that won a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics. D'Antoni was an assistant coach on that team.

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Walsh has repeatedly said his goal is to be a major player next summer, when LeBron James can be the biggest name in a potentially loaded free agent class. So he may be hesitant to offer much more than the midlevel exception of about $5.6 million to Kidd, who can earn much more by remaining in Dallas.

The Knicks also have said they'd like to retain two of their own free agents, Lee and Robinson, if the prices are right.

Lee's agent, Mark Bartelstein, said he spoke to the Knicks late Tuesday night but had "nothing really new to report" late Wednesday afternoon. He expects interest in the power forward, who was third in the league in rebounding last season and topped the NBA with 65 double-doubles.

"We're having substantial talks with different teams," Bartelstein said.

Lee and Robinson are both restricted free agents, so the Knicks can match any offers they receive.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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