Thursday, July 31, 2008

JASON KIDD IN 2009?

The Warriors are loaded with young, emerging talent. Ellis is a star in the making - an unstoppable blur that can score at will. Biedrins is a future top 5 center capable of running in an up-tempo system. Randolph has superstar qualities and unique talents for a raw 6'-10" player. Wright has the athleticism, length, and smarts to eventually thrive in Nellie's system. Belinelli could be a deadly long-range threat and a guy who could help out with his great passing abilities. Morrow could turn out to be a special talent if he keeps working on his fundamentals and knocking down the long range bombs like we know he can. Marcus Williams has the potential to become a quality starting point guard as he logs in more experience and is allowed to let his natural point guard skills flow in an up-tempo style of play. Kelenna Azubuike has very good fundamentals, court awareness, and the potential to be a lock down perimeter defender. Hendrix looks to be the beast that every team needs - one that rebounds, blocks shots, and bangs against the bigs of the NBA.

The Core
PG: Marcus Williams
SG: Monta Ellis / Marco Belinelli
SF: Anthony Randolph / Kelenna Azubuike / Anthony Morrow
PF: Brandan Wright / Richard Hendrix
C: Andris Biedrins

Veterans that will aid in the core's development include Corey Maggette, Ronny Turiaf, Stephen Jackson, and Al Harrington. Only Maggette and Turiaf are slated to be with the team longer than 2 seasons. Even with these veterans trying to teach and guide the youngsters, there is one big thing missing - a veteran PG that will guide the young team and make the game easier for his teammates. The Warriors are lacking a battle tested floor general that could bring the necessary chemistry to insure success and build confidence for this young team.

Enter Jason Kidd

At 35 years old, he's not going to give you any upside, but what he does give you is a floor leader that will elevate everyone's game to another level. If he could make Lamond Murry look like a lottery pick, Kenyon Martin look like an All-star, and Mikki Moore like a full MLE player, I'm sure the young guns would benefit greatly with him on the team. He'll get them easy baskets, throw the 3/4 court pass off of a defensive rebound, direct traffic, and be a calming force that will always make the right play when it's crunch time.

Sure he may have lost a step and some of his explosiveness, but what makes Jason Kidd who he is will be there for at least the next 4 years. His court vision, anticipation, basketball IQ, and passing skills won't go away. His rebounding numbers and points will decline, but with all the athletes running around him in an up-tempo style, he'll be able to challenge for the assist title just like the good old days. Because we have quick bigs with great hands, Kidd will be able to find them and deliver the perfect pass even in the tightest of situations. Biedrins will benefit the most from Kidd's presence on the floor, giving him easy baskets and increasing his scoring opportunities. The guards will improve as well playing under and learning from one of the best PG's to every play the game.

In addition to helping on rebounds and assists, Kidd will come in as the best thief of the team racking up 2.94 steals/48 min. while he was with the Mavericks last season. His quick, strong hands and impeccable anticipation in jumping the passing lanes makes him a great candidate for the hectic style of defense the Warriors like to employ. He could make up for the loss of Baron Davis in the steals department.

From ESPN's 2007 Scouting Report:

Scouting report: Kidd remains as dangerous in transition as any guard in the game, throwing quick passes ahead for easy scores and using this own rebounding skill to ignite many of the breaks. He's not as dangerous in the half court, where he's a mediocre outside shooter thanks to his line-drive flick shot and doesn't have the devastating first step of some of his contemporaries. He can overpower smaller guards in the low post, however, and his ability to see the court makes him particularly dangerous from that spot.

The coaches apparently intend to keep voting Kidd first-team All-Defense until he's 90, but he struggles to keep quicker guards in front of him. Where he excels is when he can switch onto a shooting guard and chase him through screens. He's also as good as you'll see at bothering low-post players without committing to a double-team, enabling him to get back to his man quickly. And of course, his rebounding makes up for the glaring deficiencies of the Nets' frontcourt in this department.

2007-08 outlook: Kidd is 34 but doesn't seem any worse for the wear, and big point guards who don't depend on their penetration skills historically have aged very well. So while the Nets have to be slightly concerned just based on Kidd's age, there's no reason he can't continue to compete at or near this level for a couple more years.

The bigger question at this point is whether he'll keep doing that in New Jersey, or someplace else. The Nets nearly pulled the rigger on a deal to send him to the Lakers at midseason, and should they struggle this year would have to consider rerouting him to a contender in order to start rebuilding.


2007-2008 Game Log

2007-2008 Career Statistics


The Warriors won't have any salary cap space next year, but what they will have is enough room under the Luxury Tax to offer Kidd anything up to the full MLE as the starting salary. Make it a front-loaded 4 year deal with incentives (games played and assist benchmarks). He could come back to the bay to a hero's welcome and retire in his hometown as a Warrior. Below is a snapshot of the team's current financial status:


(click to enlarge graphic)

Is it worth it to use up cap space to sign an aging vet? If you believe that the Warriors have a capable young core, then bringing in Kidd for a reasonable deal (4 yr/$20M front-loaded and with incentives?) to pull it all together is a great move, especially if they could land an athletic wing player like Demar Derozan, Tyreke Evans, or Earl Clark. The more athletic finishers the Warriors can collect, the more Kidd's talents will be utilized. Kidd, one of the best rebounding PG's in the history of the NBA, would pull down a rebound and deliver a perfect full-court lead pass to one of the speedy wings for an easy transition bucket. Kidd would also throw up pin-point accurate alley-oops to Randolph, Biedrins, Turiaf, and Wright.

However, if Marcus Williams or Monta Ellis look like they could become a very good option as starting PG or if the Warriors end up drafting Ricky Rubio or Brandon Jennings then the Warriors should take a pass on this sort of move. Nick Calathes might be another Class of 2009 PG to watch, but is he too much of a defensive liability? James Hardin could be drafted as a combo guard in Brandon Roy mold. That would force Monta and Williams to continue to share PG duties, thus making a Kidd acquisition as yet another backup PG unnecessary.



Before the League: A Jason Kidd Mix
From: TMcGradyHOU1






Jason Kidd 07-08 Mix
From: MJMK11



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