Our good friends at SB Nation Dallas are in full damage-control mode after New York's team swiped the two point guards the Dallas Mavericks had hoped would be running their team during the 2012-13 NBA season. We refer, of course to the Brooklyn Nets' signing of Texas native Deron Williams and the stunning last-minute decision by Jason Kidd to bolt the Mavs for the New York Knicks.
SB Nation Dallas calls Kidd's decision to sign a three-year, $9-million contract with New York rather than Dallas a 'Blessing In Disguise.' Here is some of what SB Nation Dallas editor Jonathan Tjarks wrote:
At this point in their careers, Delonte West (if he is re-signed) and Rodrigue Beaubois are both significantly better options at the point. And while Kidd will be missed in the locker room, his presence couldn't convince Deron Williams to sign and any gains from his leadership wouldn't have justified taking away minutes from either of the Mavericks other two PG's.
The 38-year old Kidd no longer has the foot-speed to stay in front of the league's faster guards; in the Oklahoma City series, he started games on Thabo Sefolosha, the Thunder's worst offensive player. Nor is Kidd good enough on offense to justify leaving his defense on the floor. As Sports Illustrated writer Zach Lowe has repeatedly pointed out, he is such a non-entity on offense that teams often leave him wide-open driving lanes to the basket, daring him to look for his own shot.
He's still an excellent passer, but he no longer has the foot-speed to draw double teams and create shots for other players. His only value on the court is as a stand-still jump-shooter who makes crisp passes around the perimeter.
If you ignore the names on the back of their jerseys, he's not nearly as valuable as West or Beaubois.
Are we talking about the Delonte West who, at 28, isn't really so young anymore? The Delonte West who has never averaged more than 4.6 assists per game in a season? The Delonte West who has a career-best scoring average of 12.2 points per game? The Delonte West on his fifth NBA organization already, if you include two stops in Boston. You feel better with him playing instead of a future Hall of Famer who, while admittedly not what he was, can still ad dmore to an offense than West ever has or ever will?
Rodrigue Beaubois? A three-year veteran who averaged career bests in points (8.9) and assists (2.9) per game last season? Rodrigue Beaubois?
I guess what Mavericks fans are saying is, sure, the Knicks taking Kidd is a blessing in disguise since we now admit that our team was going to stink regardless of whether he was on the roster or not, so we might as well play the young guys.
Sorry, not buying it Dallas fans.
The Knicks would have much preferred Steve Nash, a year younger than Kidd and with much more in the tank. Kidd averaged 6.2 points and 5.5 assists in 28.7 minutes a year ago. Nash averaged 12.5 points and 10.7 assists in 31.6 minutes. The Knicks, though, will benefit greatly from Kidd's presence.
Ball movement and shot distribution was a nightly issue for the Knicks a season ago. You think Carmelo Anthony or anyone else on the Knicks is going to get away with questioning where the ball goes when Kidd, a future Hall of Famer who is second in NBA history 11,842 assists, sends it there? And you think Jeremy Lin, whom the Knicks are almost certain to keep by matching the Houston Rockets' offer, won't benefit from seeing how Kidd helps an offense and how he negotiates the personalities who demand the ball.
The Mavericks and their fans can think it's a blessing that Kidd left Dallas if they want to. The Knicks will be happy to take whatever Kidd can give them. And while the Knicks are en route to the playoffs next season the Mavericks -- unless they somehow reel in Dwight Howard -- will be losing a ton of games and wondering how long before Dirk Nowitzki is asking Mark Cuban to send him to a good team.