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Jason Kidd finally traded to the Mavs!

Finally the Mavs have found a way to get Jason Kidd. After this deal almost didn't go through because of Devean George who didn't want to lose his Larry Bird rights by being traded, the two teams finally managed to come up with a deal that suited both franchises. According to http://nba.com the arithmetics of the deal are the following:

Dallas signs Keith Van Horn and trades Van Horn, Devin Harris, Trenton Hassell, Maurice Ager, DeSagana Diop, first-round draft choices in 2008 and 2010, and cash considerations to New Jersey for Jason Kidd, Malik Allen and Antoine Wright; waives Nick Fazekas.

For most analysts it seems to be unclear which team has profited most (Dallas: http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/dailydime?page=dime-080220; New Jersey: http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/insider/columns/story?columnist=hollinger_john&page=KiddTrade-080217&action=login&appRedirect=http) I think in the long run, this trade didn't really help the Mavs. Devin Harris has a bright NBA-career in front of him. But what is more important here is the Maverick's core team which is aging. Nowitzki is 'only' 29 but was drafted aged 18 which equals straight out of high school. So he has been around for quite some time and nobody knows when his body is going to fail him. Eric Dampier is way past 30 and the same has been true for Jerry Stackhouse for a few years now.
What might hurt the Mavs the most is giving up Diop who provided much needed defensive presence off the bench. However, this seasons summer league and the beginning of the season suggest that Avery Johnson thought that this year might be Diop's breakthrough season as an elite NBA centre. And if this is true, I would say that this project has failed terribly. It might be that Diop will be "Mr. Potential" to the end of his career. He is to foul-prone and does not have enough offensive swagger.
All of these points indicate that there never actually was a bright future for the Mavs, which is somehow natural for a team that went to the NBA-Finals two years ago (and was robbed) and had a 67 wins season last seaosn. They only have the present and Mark Cuban as an intelligent owner knows the cycle of winning, loosing, rebuilding.

What will be the ultimate benchmark of the trade is what Kidd will do to Nowitzki's and Howard's numbers. Will they go up? I think so. Other then Harris, Kidd is the ultimate pass first point guard and I really think that Dallas' offence will profit tremendously from this trade if...
...if Avery Johnson gives his pointguard and consequently the whole team more freedom. Over his reign, Dallas has developed from one of the most attractive offensive teams to one of the most boring ones. The benchmark of this trade really is whether Johnson allows Kidd to run the show (and if I say "show" I do mean "show"). Only then Kidd will be able to do what he was brought in for: giving Dallas and HIMSELF a NBA-title and doing it now. This season. To win it all the Mavs not only need Kidd but a Dirk Nowitzki at his best. He has to overcome his 'Golden State trauma'. This might actually be the most important thing Kidd could do for the Mavs: giving Nowitzki back his self-esteem (something he couldn't do himself in a system based on isos).

So my resumee of the trade is this:
1.)To make the whole thing work Avery Johnson has to relax. Jason Kidd needs to do HIS thing.
2.) Dallas needs to go back to a motion offence giving Nowitzki and Howard open looks and consequently more self-esteem.
3.)The argument of the Mavericks losing their depth by giving up too much of their bench-mob is irrelevant: no team plays more than a 8-player rotation in the playoffs. Bench players are more important during the regular season and everybody in Dallas knows (after last season) that having an incredible regular season doesn't mean anything. After all, the NYKnicks went to the 1999 finals as the 8th-seated team.
2008-02-20 00:00:00