Jason Kidd opts to join Knicks

Updated: July 6, 2012, 4:48 PM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com

In an unforeseen reversal, Jason Kidd has decided to leave the Dallas Mavericks to join the New York Knicks.

"I think I can help," Kidd told ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher, adding that he felt the Knicks have more "pieces to work with."

With the Mavericks confident they were closing in Thursday on a verbal agreement on a three-year deal with Kidd worth $9 million, sources told ESPN.com that Kidd -- after all-day deliberations with both teams -- has decided instead to leave Dallas to join the Knicks for a similar deal.

The contract can't be signed until July 11, which is the first day new NBA contracts can be signed. It's also possible, one source said, that Kidd ultimately could move to the Knicks in a sign-and-trade deal.

Sources briefed on the matter told ESPN.com that Kidd ultimately was swayed to take the Knicks' offer to go to New York, and take on the challenge of trying to help the Knicks move into the Eastern Conference elite and mentor fans' darling Jeremy Lin.

He could rotate in with Lin or inherit the point guard role full-time if the Knicks reverse course and decline to match an offer the Houston Rockets made to Lin, a restricted free agent whom the Knicks have said they intend to keep.

Kidd averaged 6.2 points and 5.5 assists last season, his 18th in the NBA. Kidd ranks second all-time with 11,842 assists, trailing only John Stockton (15,806).

Information from ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher and The Associated Press was used in this report.

Marc Stein | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com
• Senior NBA writer for ESPN.com
• Began covering the NBA in 1993-94
• Also covered soccer, tennis and the Olympics