Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Updated: July 5, 2:29 PM ET
Sources: Mavs' Jason Kidd deal close
By Jeff Caplan
Jason Kidd appears prepared to end his career where he started it -- with the Dallas Mavericks.
The 39-year-old is closing in on a multiyear deal, a source close to the situation said. The source said the deal is not completed, but barring any snags, Kidd will close out his career alongside Dirk Nowitzki.
Sources with knowledge of the deal specifics told ESPN.com's Marc Stein that Kidd's contract will be a three-year deal worth $9 million, taking him to age 42 if he plays it all the way out.
After a rough few days that saw prized free agent Deron Williams opt to re-sign with the Brooklyn Nets, Jason Terry agree to terms with the Boston Celtics and then another Mavs target, Steve Nash, stunningly get traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Mavs are finally nearing their first positive move of a so-far frustrating free-agent period by bringing back Kidd.
Entering his 19th season, Kidd finished a three-year, $25 million deal this season and openly talked about possibly joining Williams as a package deal at either Dallas or Brooklyn.
When Williams announced his intention to stay with the Nets on Tuesday, the pair chose to go separate ways. Kidd continued to discuss a deal with the Mavs, his stated preferred destination, but was also in talks with the New York Knicks as a fallback.
"I've always loved playing with Dallas and I'd love to finish my career there," Kidd said Wednesday.
Reeling from Williams' rejection, the Mavs' front office quickly shifted gears and engaged Nash, who left Dallas in the summer of 2004 to accept a lucrative free-agent deal with the Suns, and they also targeted Knicks restricted free agent Jeremy Lin.
But, when the Suns and Lakers reached a sign-and-trade agreement Wednesday evening that will pair Nash with Kobe Bryant, the Mavs ramped up their discussions with Kidd, who had also talked of being open to playing with Lin, a fellow Bay Area native, in New York.
All along though, Kidd maintained his desire to remain with the Mavs and to continue to play alongside Nowitzki, who campaigned for the organization to trade for the future Hall of Fame point guard in 2008. Together each won the only championship of their careers in 2011.
Dallas refused to get into a bidding war for a point guard as the Rockets made a significant offer to Lin on Wednesday that the Knicks can match, and the Suns quickly agreed to a $34 million deal with Goran Dragic after dealing Nash, according to ESPN.com's Stein.
Dallas prefers to preserve its financial flexibility to pursue star free agents that might hit the market next summer such as Dwight Howard and Chris Paul.
Mavs free agent guard Delonte West remains an option to re-sign. West is seeking a multiyear deal, but has expressed his desire to remain with the organization. West went so far as to recruit Williams over Twitter prior to the start of free agency. Ironically, had Williams signed, West likely would not be a candidate to be back.
With Kidd back in the fold, the Mavs have eight players under contract and four key members left from the 2011 title team, including Kidd, Nowitzki, Shawn Marion and Brendan Haywood.
Along with West, the Mavs have two more decisions to make on their own free agents. Backup center Ian Mahinmi, who has several teams interested, and little-used forward Brian Cardinal.