Could Jason Kidd’s first full season with the Mavericks also be his last?
This is a very real question, with Kidd returning to free agency after this season. And, according to Jason Terry’s post-game comments Tuesday night at the AT&T Center, we already have an answer.
"Over the last three years, we've obviously been through a lot of adversity -- not getting out of the first round,” Terry said. “But that's not our goal. Our goal is to win a championship. Obviously there is some urgency, with Jason Kidd probably not going to be with us next year. The time is now."
This question isn’t as relevant as it will become when Dallas’ season finally comes to an end, but it is certainly intriguing enough. Kidd has slid off the upper echelon of NBA point guards, supplanted by young blood such as New Orleans’ Chris Paul and San Antonio’s Tony Parker.
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Kidd alluded to this shift in his comments in an NBA.com story, as well as the idea of leaving Dallas for greener pastures. Kidd said, "I'm going into it with an open mind and see what comes up. There could be some great situations again, so maybe this time I'll think with my mind and not my heart."
The 36-year-old is referring to his last go around as a free agent, in 2003. His heart-thinking led him to re-signing with New Jersey, where he stayed until last season’s blockbuster trade. Presumably, his mind would have led him to San Antonio, and, ostensibly, a ring or two.
It’s enough to make you wonder if Kidd won’t go trophy-hunting next year with Cleveland or, maybe, Los Angeles.
In any case, Kidd’s comments don’t exactly ooze of an allegiance to Dallas. The current playoff run could change things, obviously, to some degree. But unless Dallas makes an appearance in the finals, they would seemingly remain in Kidd’s heart and not his head when he makes his decision this summer.
And with the Lakers looking more and more like the juggernaut we thought they were, this is an increasingly tall order for the upstart Mavericks; never mind that they have to (most likely) get past an impressive Nuggets team just to have a chance.
As Tim MacMahon, of the DMN Mavericks blog points out, Mark Cuban will likely pull out all the stops to keep his prize catch from last year’s trade; there’s no reason to think he won’t. But teams on the verge tend to have deep pockets with respect to that ever-elusive “last piece of the puzzle.”
Cuban would have to meet, and probably exceed, those offers.
But, I digress; the Mavericks are on to round two and, in all likelihood, a tough series against Denver.
That is, before any of this becomes real, the Dallas Mavericks, Jason Kidd and all, have some games to play.