Jason Kidd staying put
July 6, 2009
DALLAS – Jason Kidd isn’t going anywhere.
The free agent point guard has agreed to sign a three-year contract for more than $25 million to remain with Dirk Nowitzki and the rest of the Mavericks. The New York Knicks were among Kidd’s suitors.
“We are excited that JKidd and the Mavs have reached an agreement to have Jason return to the Mavs,” Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said via e-mail Monday. “We look forward to him continuing to take a major role with the team.”
With the contract, the 37-year-old Kidd could end his career in Dallas, which is where he started in 1994. The Oakland, Calif., native was the No. 2 overall pick out of California, and he has also played for Phoenix and New Jersey.
Kidd is scheduled to play in the American Century Championship next week at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course in Stateline.
Kidd’s return helps the Mavericks as they pursue a supporting cast around Nowitzki, from not having to find a replacement to recruiting players. Kidd, who is third on the career assist list, also will continue to mentor J.J. Barea, who emerged as a solid backup last season, and raw rookie Rodrigue Beaubois, who is coming over from France.
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The deal – which can’t be signed until Wednesday – was first reported by ESPN.com.
The Mavericks also plan to send an offer sheet Wednesday to Marcin Gortat, a 25-year-old center who backed up Dwight Howard in Orlando last season, according to a person with knowledge of negotiations. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because of NBA rules against commenting on deals before the signing period opens.
Gortat is expected to receive the full midlevel exception of about $5.6 million, which means any more big moves Dallas makes this offseason will come through trades.
The Mavs can dangle the expiring contract of Erick Dampier and the trade-friendly contract of Jerry Stackhouse in front of other teams. Pretty much everyone but Nowitzki could be dealt, too, as the Mavericks explore ways to keep up with the changes made by top rivals in the Western Conference, especially the defending champion Lakers and division foe San Antonio.