The sources are all anonymous, but if true, Nets point guard Jason Kidd didn't have a migraine Wednesday night at all when he skipped the loss to the Knicks. In fact, his only headache seems to be the Nets organization.
One Nets source said Kidd was "on strike." This could be Kidd's way of forcing a trade. Remember, he was almost dealt to the Lakers last season, but L.A. wouldn't send young center Andrew Bynum. And recently when the Nets were in Cleveland he chatted it up with LeBron James and said he'd sure love to play with the kid one day -- and not just on the Olympic team -- just like he said about Kobe.
Another source in the highlighted story above claims the Nets plan to, or already are, talking with the Mavs, Lakers and possibly the Cavs.
The Cavs are the most desperate for a point guard. The Lakers are desperate to get Kobe help, but at least have Derek Fisher back to handle the basketball. And the Mavs, well, they're not desperate, but they're also not playing great right now.
Devin Harris has had his shining moments, like Nov. 15 when he schooled Tony Parker, and his duds, like Wednesday night when Parker schooled him.
The Mavs would surely have to unload Harris to get Kidd, but because Harris just signed an extension that kicks in next season, salary cap ramifications make him tough deal. Then the Mavs would have to throw in quite a few parts -- doubtful Josh Howard would be a sticking point -- to help match up salaries. Kidd makes a mountain of money -- $19.7 mil this season and $21.37 mil next season, the final year of his mega-deal. Kidd had his chance to join a West heavyweight a few years ago, but chose to stay in N.J. rather than join the Spurs.
I know this isn't a new thought, but it's just so crazy to think that the Mavs have had Jason Kidd and Steve Nash, two true point guards in a league where the true point had become an endangered species.
But, it's also true that the West's successful teams, and up-and-comers, have excellent point guard play -- Parker, Nash, Deron Williams in Utah, Chris Paul in New Orleans, Baron Davis at Golden State and of course Iverson is no slouch for a good, but careless Denver team.
If the Mavs were to entertain a deal, they have to ask themselves if they believe Kidd is the final piece to winning a title this season or next. And if Devin Harris, just in his fourth season and first as the full-time starting point guard, definitely isn't the answer.
Ball movement continues to be a huge issue for the Mavs, they just don't have great passers. Early on this season, their assists went way up and it seemed they had found something. But, it's clear right now that they haven't figured out how to counter the way teams are trapping Dirk Nowitzki - a la Golden State.
And one thing about Harris is that has become one of the better defensive points in the game. He's a master at drawing charges. Kidd isn't exactly a stalwart defender. Could Avery Johnson live with that?
And there is one more issue here. If Kidd really did stiff his team last night, is there anything more selfish?
-- Jeff Caplan