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News » Big interest in Kidd Knicks among many teams expected to go after Mavericks guard

Big interest in Kidd Knicks among many teams expected to go after Mavericks guard

Big interest in Kidd Knicks among many teams expected to go after Mavericks guard
There will be a new bad guy to deal with when the Mavericks open their pursuit of re-signing Jason Kidd on Wednesday.

The New York Knicks are expected to join the ranks of serious competitors for Kidd's services for two reasons.

First, it is widely known that Kidd has an affinity for New York. He still has a home there and enjoys the area. He played for New Jersey for 61/2 seasons before being traded to Dallas in 2008.

Secondly, the Knicks are going to start stockpiling assets to help lure LeBron James next summer. Having Kidd as their point guard, even at age 37 in 2010, would be a nice selling point.

Wednesday is when teams officially can begin talking to free agents, and Kidd is expected to get overtures from several teams: Cleveland, Portland, Boston, New York and perhaps the Lakers.

All of those teams except for Portland are stymied by the salary cap. The Knicks can only offer their mid-level exception, expected to be between $5 million and $6 million. Kidd earned $21 million last season.

The Mavericks can pay him any amount up to the league maximum. The only way the Knicks can pay him more than the mid-level exception is through a sign-and-trade. And they have few commodities the Mavericks need, given that free agent David Lee plays the same position as Dirk Nowitzki and is not a proven scorer, although he is a great rebounder.

The Mavs maintain that re-signing Kidd is a priority, and they have factors working in their favor. They can offer more money than anybody else. And Kidd worked well in coach Rick Carlisle's system, becoming the play-caller on most possessions.

The Mavs will have other concerns. Brandon Bass is going to have suitors, including perhaps Orlando, which is eager to add big bodies after acquiring Vince Carter. The Magic may also go after Rasheed Wallace in free agency, according to some reports.

Besides their free agents, the Mavericks also will have their eye on several other players in free agency.

"There's a lot of teams using rookies to fill roster spots," owner Mark Cuban said. "That means free agency might be real interesting. A couple of teams have gone into their rebuilding programs, so that changes things as well. We just have to see who's out there."

Cuban said the Mavericks are not committed to using their mid-level exception on one player; they could split it up on two or three, he said.

They could also acquire an impact scorer by trading Jerry Stackhouse's expiring contract, perhaps pairing it with Erick Dampier's contract, which also expires after next season.

Summer romances

The Mavericks need difference-makers. Here are some free-agent options, along with players under contract who also might be available via trade.

Player, team Status Eddie Sefko's comment

Ray Allen, Boston Signed through 2010 Not sure a $19 million rental makes sense.

Raymond Felton, Cha. Restricted FA They investigated getting him last season.

Emeka Okafor, Cha. Signed through 2014 Will the Bobcats slash payroll?

Raja Bell, Cha. Signed through 2010 They never should have let him go in '03.

Luol Deng, Chi. Signed through 2014 Makes sense if his leg injury is fully healed.

Kirk Hinrich, Chi. Signed through 2012 With Derrick Rose, he's expendable.

Ben Gordon, Chi. Unrestricted FA Doesn't seem likely to part from Bulls.

Anderson Varejao, Cle. Unrestricted FA Not the dynamic scorer they need.

Chris Andersen, Den. Unrestricted FA Birdman would add some zaniness.

Rasheed Wallace, Det. Unrestricted FA Does the versatile center have anything left?

Stephen Jackson, G.S. Signed through 2013 Tops among available Warriors.

Marcus Camby, LAC Signed through 2010 They'd rather part with Chris Kaman.

Trevor Ariza, LAL Unrestricted FA Would he leave the champs for mid-level?

Lamar Odom, LAL Unrestricted FA The candy man's price won't be cheap.

Luke Ridnour, Mil. Signed through 2010 Wouldn't jeopardize 2010 options.

Charlie Villanueva, Mil. Restricted FA Will the Bucks pony up to keep him?

Ricky Rubio, Min. Unsigned rookie Don't laugh - he could be on the move.

Rafer Alston, N.J. Signed through 2010 Nets have no need for him.

Tyson Chandler, N.O. Signed through 2011 How much of an upgrade is he?

Marcin Gortat, Orl. Unrestricted FA Only if you're sure he's starter-quality.

Hedo Turkoglu, Orl. Unrestricted FA Would require a costly sign-and-trade.

Andre Miller, Phi. Unrestricted FA Pretty solid point guard for years.

Amare Stoudemire, Pho. Signed through 2011 Talk about your big splash.

Chris Bosh, Tor. Signed through 2011 If he's leaving in 2010, why not trade him?

Mehmet Okur, Utah Signed through 2010 Could be had if Paul Millsap is re-signed.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: June 30, 2009


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