Jason Kidd wants to play next year
Yet Kidd insisted Wednesday, on the eve of the Mavericks' second and final visit of the season to Golden State, that Thursday night's nationally televised showdown on TNT won't be his last game on Oakland hardwood.
"I want to play another year," Kidd told ESPN.com.
Despite turning 39 on March 23 and struggling throughout this lockout-shortened season with various back, calf and groin ailments that have shelved him for 15 games -- including the Mavericks' previous trip to Oakland on March 10 -- Kidd says he's determined to play on to try to help Dallas add to the breakthrough championship it won last season.
Sources with knowledge of the Mavericks' thinking likewise indicate that management is determined to find a way to re-sign the former Cal star in free agency even amid the roster clearout that Dallas has planned to create the requisite salary-cap space to pursue Dallas-area native Deron Williams in free agency this summer. Kidd's most recent three-year contract expires at season's end, but he long has been regarded as one of the Mavs' point men for recruiting free agents since returning to Dallas in 2008. Sources say, furthermore, that Kidd has a good relationship with Williams from their time playing together on Team USA.
One source close to the situation, asked if bringing Kidd back remains part of the Mavs' plans, said: "Absolutely."
Furthermore, team sources say the 10-time All-Star happily would move into a backup role should the Mavs win the Williams sweepstakes.
On the current squad, though, Kidd's teammates openly have longed for his return after a groin injury forced him to sit out four games last week. Although he's generating career-low numbers in virtually every category, Kidd continues to run the Mavericks' offense with a level of precision no one else on the roster can match, with half-court execution ranking as one of the strengths that propelled Dallas past the favored Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat in two of its four playoff rounds last spring.
Kidd returned to the lineup in Tuesday night's home win over Sacramento and had seven points, seven assists and six rebounds in 22 minutes and said afterward it was "the best he's felt all season" from a health standpoint.
This is just the fifth time Kidd has missed at least 15 games in a season.
The Mavericks believe his health woes, as much as anything, have contributed to Kidd's modest averages in points (5.9), rebounds (4.1), and assists per game (5.3), as well as his career low shooting percentage (.347).
Kidd has recorded two of his 107 career triple-doubles in Oakland and has lifetime averages of 16.8 points, 10.3 assists and 6.7 rebounds against the Warriors to go with a record of 13-11. He has never faced the Warriors in a playoff game.