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Friday, May 31, 2013
Jason Kidd: Retire or return?

By Ian Begley

Jason Kidd
Jason Kidd was brutal in the playoffs. But he was a big part of the Knicks' regular season.
So Jason Kidd says he's going to make a decision about playing next season sometime soon.

If you were advising Kidd, what would you tell him to do? Do you want to see Kidd in a Knicks uniform next season?

Here's a look at the pros and cons of Kidd and the Knicks:

WE CAN STILL USE HIM: It's easy to get caught up in Kidd's forgettable postseason. That's the freshest image most have of the 40-year-old veteran -- and it isn't a pretty one.

But it's worthwhile to consider Kidd's full body of work before you make up your mind.

Remember, Kidd played an integral role in the Knicks' hot start, which kick-started their 54-win regular season.

In New York's 20-7 start, Kidd had a 4.1 assist-to-turnover ratio (third best in the NBA) and had the third-highest true shooting percentage (a percentage that accounts for free throws and 3-pointers) among NBA guards.

Of course, he also went through a horrendous shooting slump in the regular season and playoffs. But that may have been due in part to a sharp increase in playing time for Kidd following Raymond Felton's hand injury.

Kidd was forced to play 30-plus minutes in eight of the 12 games Felton missed.

A few weeks later, Kidd was mired in an awful shooting slump in which he made just 19 percent of his field goals over a 10-game stretch. He also missed 41 of 49 3-point attempts in that span. Given the timing of the slump and how well he played earlier in the season, it's worth wondering if Kidd can be sharp throughout the season next year if he plays fewer minutes.

You also have to consider Kidd's impact in the Knicks' locker room. It's difficult to quantify, but there's no denying that his veteran savvy and leadership had a positive impact on the team. Kidd was credited for helping Carmelo Anthony improve as a passer, particularly out of double-teams. And Felton and Pablo Prigioni raved about Kidd's wisdom when it came to running an offense.

Also, the Knicks are over the salary cap. If Kidd doesn't come back and his $3.1 million in salary for 2013-14 is wiped from the books, they will not be able to spend it on another free agent.

YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME: After watching Kidd struggle so mightily in the postseason, it's fair to wonder if he's just lost his ability to remain productive over a full season.

Kidd averaged 0.9 points per game on 12 percent shooting in the Knicks' 12 playoff games and was scoreless in the Knicks' final 10 playoff games. He missed his final 18 shots and did not score in 209 minutes on the floor. Woodson removed him from the rotation in the Knicks' final two playoff games.

His lack of production wasn't the sole reason the Knicks lost in the second round, but it certainly didn't help.

Some may look at Kidd's postseason and conclude that the future Hall of Famer is finished. His roster spot could be best filled with someone else, the thinking goes.

For those in the "Kidd needs to go" camp, it is worth noting that if Kidd's $3.1 million contract for next season is off the books, it makes it a little easier for the Knicks to get under the tax apron in executing a sign-and-trade.

Still, I choose to take a long view and think Kidd would be a valuable piece on the Knicks' roster next season.

Question: What do you guys think? Do you want to see Kidd retire or do you want to see him back in a Knicks uniform next season?

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