Jason Kidd will turn 39 next March, and last season father time started to catch up with the old man and his game (he shot just 36.1 percent for the season, for example). But he’s a cagey veteran who can still lead, play some physical defense, make the right pass and knock down threes — all of which helped him be a key part of the Dallas Mavericks first ever title.
The question is how long can he keep doing that? Father time may be about to pass him by and strip the ball from him in the process.
“With this group, hopefully another two or three,” Kidd said. “I feel great, and being around younger guys and working on my game, and them believing in me, helped me compete every day.”
“I’ve come to grips that at some point I’ll come off the bench or try to help some younger point guard understand what it takes to be consistent,” said Kidd. “It’s all up to my body.”
Kidd has one more season left on his deal with the Mavericks.
Dallas pictures speedy Frenchman Rodrigue Beaubois as the future at the point, but he missed most of last season with a foot injury and when he did return he was not the same player (and eventually was out with a complication to the same injury). Next season will be the real test for Beaubois — they would like to give him more minutes off the bench, have him lessen the load on Kidd, but he’s got to show he can take on that role. Last season he did not.
As for Kidd, next season will be telling.
The Mavericks have Dirk Nowitzki for three more seasons, that’s how long they will pretty much try to win with this roster of veterans. Then it will be time to rebuild. If Kidd’s drop off is dramatic next season the Mavericks may not want him back, although the more likely scenario is the ink him to a cheaper deal for two years and try to use him in a limited role off the bench. As a mentor. Kidd has a healthy ego, but he seems willing to accept that kind of role — and if someone is willing to be a good student, he has a lot to teach.
Hawks sign two-way Tyler Cavanaugh to standard contract
ATLANTA (AP) — Rookie forward Tyler Cavanaugh, who originally came to Atlanta on a two-way contract, has signed a multi-year deal with the Hawks.
Cavanaugh has averaged 5.5 points and 3.2 rebounds in 19 games, including one start, since signing the two-way contract on Nov. 5.
Cavanaugh, from Syracuse, New York, played two seasons at Wake Forest before transferring to George Washington, where he averaged 18.3 points and 8.4 rebounds last season. He was selected the National Invitation Tournament Most Outstanding Player in 2016 after leading the Colonials to the NIT title.
Carlos Boozer went from being known as a gritty second-rounder to an overpaid defensive liability.
In some ways, that’s the ultimate success story.
Now, after playing last season in China, he’s walking away.
Boozer on ESPN:
I’m officially retired.
The Cavaliers drafted Boozer with the No. 35 pick in the 2002. After he spent a couple productive seasons in Cleveland, the Cavs declined his cheap team option to make him a restricted free agent – with an agreement he’d re-sign at a reasonable rate if you ask them, with no handshake deal if you ask him.
Boozer bolted for the Jazz, who gave him a six-year, $68 million contract. He made a couple All-Star teams and helped Utah reach the conference finals.
The Bulls are 5-0 since Nikola Mirotic returned from an injury suffered when Bobby Portis punched him in the face during a preseason practice. Mirotic and Portis are both excelling individually, and Chicago has outscored opponents by a whopping 34.3 points per 100 possessions when those two share the court.
When asked if the two former combatants have spoken yet, Mirotic said, “We did on the floor. We’ve always spoken because we need to have good communication.” As for whether they’ve talked off the floor, however, Mirotic was succinct in his response: “No.”
I guess Mirotic hasn’t completely moved on, though he said he did. But that’s fine. How could someone get past a teammate punching him in the face?
Importantly, this is becoming just a regular NBA problem. The extent of that practice punch was practically unprecedented. But plenty of players have loathed teammates while making it work on the court. That happens more than people realize.
Mirotic and Portis can make this their status quo – at least the on-court cooperation. I’m not convinced Chicago will keep winning like this.
Watch Kobe Bryant’s ‘Dear Basketball’ short film (video)