New York Knicks: 5 Reasons Jason Kidd Would Be a Perfect Backup for Jeremy Lin
Kidd is a realistic option for the Knicks since he recently expressed to Newsday how much he likes the Knicks’ current roster.
"They've got a lot of studs. When you talk about Carmelo, Amar'e, they've got pieces that can help you win. So that helps."
Kidd has also stated before that Tyson Chandler, who left the Mavericks for the Knicks prior to last season, was one of his favorite teammates he’s ever played with.
Since Kidd clearly has shown he has interest in joining the Knicks this offseason, the ball is now in team GM Glen Grunwald and coach Mike Woodson’s court to make it happen.
Here are five reasons why Jason Kidd would be the perfect backup for Jeremy Lin.
He Is a Great Rebounder
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The Knicks desperately need some help in the rebounding department.
Jason Kidd has been a great rebounder for a point guard his entire career, averaging 6.4 rebounds per game in his 18 NBA seasons. Twice in his career he even averaged eight or more rebounds per game.
Last season, the Knicks ranked eighteenth in the NBA in team rebounds with only 41.7 rebounds per game.
Even though Kidd’s minutes were a career low last season, he still managed to average 4.1 rebounds per game.
Adding him to the Knicks’ bench would definitely improve the team’s rebounding.
He Would Sign for the Veteran’s Minimum
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Jason Kidd is entering his nineteenth NBA season and has earned himself huge sums of money during this time.
During his first tenure with the Mavericks, Kidd’s salary totaled $55 million. When he left the Mavericks for the New Jersey Nets, Kidd signed a six-year, $99 million deal. Since returning to Dallas, Kidd has played three seasons and has earned himself another $24.5 million, for a combined total of $178.5 million.
Now that his career is coming to a close, Kidd will most likely take a pay cut to play for the team of his choosing. He will most likely sign the veteran’s minimum contract, which for a player with his experience will total $1.35 million.
The Knicks don’t have much money to spend on potential free agents, so being able to sign Kidd for cheap will allow them to also go after a big man or wing player with their Mid Level Exception.
He Loves to Teach Younger Players
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Jason Kidd has always been a great team leader, leading by example for the rest of his teammates.
Even though he was never the greatest scorer or most athletic player, his teammates have always acknowledged how great of a presence Kidd was for their team. During the Mavericks Finals run in 2011, reserve guard Jason Terry had this to say about Kidd,
"It's all about our leader, Jason Kidd," Terry said. "The way he plays the game, the way he has always played the game rubs off."
Having Jason Kidd on the roster would have a huge impact on Jeremy Lin and his progression as an NBA point guard. Kidd has always preached unselfish basketball and will teach Lin the importance of always making the extra pass and not forcing anything. Kidd is up for the challenge of being Jeremy Lin’s mentor, telling ESPN,
“That would be a lot of fun to help a player like that. Just share the things that helped me be successful in this league."
He Can Still Distribute the Ball Well
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Jason Kidd is one of the best passers in NBA history.
He’s averaged 9.0 assists per game for his career, averaging double-digit assists in a season three times. He is currently second in NBA history in assists, only behind John Stockton, with 11,842 assists.
Kidd prides himself on his ability to distribute the ball and get his teammates great looks at the basket. This quality will definitely benefit the Knicks, who have tons of scorers on the roster, including Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire.
When Lin wasn’t on the floor last season, the Knicks really lacked any continuity and the offense often became stagnant. This won’t be the case at all if Kidd is the player who comes in to replace Lin.
He Has Tons of Playoff Experience
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One of the Knicks' biggest problems is they don’t really have any players on the roster who know how to win. Tyson Chandler is the only current Knick who has been to the NBA Finals before.
Jason Kidd has been to the playoffs 16 times during his career, reaching the Finals three times and winning it once. He has experienced everything an NBA player could possibly experience in the playoffs.
Kidd’s presence during the playoffs would be huge for this team. He would be able to keep the rest of the players focused during the inevitable ups and downs that every team faces on their way to an NBA Championship.
Not only would Kidd be a huge factor on the court, but his biggest contributions might be how much he would help this team off the court as well.