With trade rumors involving the Mavericks and Jason Kidd at somewhere between hilarious and hysterical, Avery Johnson made the strongest statement of anyone in the Dallas organization Thursday morning when he said:
"We're not involved. Anybody has the right to throw out names and speculate, but we're not involved. That's all I can tell [his players]. We're not involved. We like our team, we're moving forward with our team."
Like many other teams, Mavericks officials have admitted talking to the Nets about Kidd. But internet reports that an elaborate three-team trade between Dallas, Portland and New Jersey is imminent were disputed by Johnson. When asked directly if he was saying that the Mavericks had no interest in Kidd, Johnson repeated:
"We like our team."
In the world of the NBA, of course, situations can change. But owner Mark Cuban has suggested that anyone writing that the team is interested in offering a huge package of players should "step away from your crack dealer."
And when asked by Jeff Caplan by email if the Mavericks were seeking guard help while Devin Harris recuperates from an ankle injury, Cuban replied "no."
Again, depending on what the Nets want for Kidd, the situation could change. But at this point, Avery Johnson is saying that rumors of an impending trade of Kidd to Dallas are greatly exaggerated -- at least right now.
-- Jan Hubbard