In the battle for both best basketball team and greatest attraction in New York City, the Knicks have made a surprising move that could have won them both titles over the new-look Brooklyn Nets.
With the Mavericks confident that they were closing in Thursday on a verbal agreement on a three-year deal with Kidd worth $9 million, sources told ESPN.com that Kidd -- after all-day deliberations with both teams -- has decided instead to leave Dallas to join the Knicks for a similar deal.
While Kidd would appear to have had a bigger role in Dallas, he felt challenged, by the Knicks situation and his role with Lin's development. Stein reports that Kidd believes the Knicks are on the cusp of potential greatness:
Sources briefed on the matter told ESPN.com that Kidd was ultimately swayed to take the Knicks offer to come to New York and take on the challenge of trying to help the Knicks move into the Eastern Conference elite and also mentor fans' darling Jeremy Lin.
If Lin and Kidd are together in the backcourt, they make up a point guard situation that could not have worked out any better for the New York Knicks.
There was no way that New York would have been able to pay both Lin and Steve Nash big contracts. Plus, Kidd is able to defend shooting guards with his 6'4'' size and tenacious on-the-ball defense.
There are situations where Lin and Kidd could both be on the court, and with Toney Douglas as the third-string point guard, the Knicks finally are set at one position from top to bottom this offseason.
Now, if the Knicks can focus on retaining Steve Novak, J.R. Smith and Jared Jeffries, they can potentially have a loaded and versatile bench that allows New York to match up with almost anybody in the league.
While sources on June 30 told ESPN's Ric Bucher that Kidd would join whatever team Deron Williams chose to play for, that scenario did not occur as this crazy 2012 NBA free agency period continues to unfold.
The Knicks will obviously have an edge versus Deron Williams' Brooklyn Nets in terms of both fanfare and talent with Lin and Kidd becoming a top-notch point guard combo, to go along with Tyson Chandler and All-Stars Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony.
Nothing will change that, except a Dwight Howard trade to Brooklyn.
For the Dallas Mavericks, however, this a worst-case scenario of the highest order.
The Mavericks had the biggest of free-agent plans for this offseason, after letting go of J.J. Barea, Tyson Chandler and DeShawn Stevenson—three pivotal parts of their 2011 NBA championship run.
But with no Deron Williams or Jeremy Lin arriving—and now with Jason Kidd departing—Dallas will probably have to wait for the 2013 NBA free agency period in order to acquire a star player to pair with an aging Dirk Nowitski.
Unfortunately for the Mavericks, with many other Western Conference teams improving this offseason, they could possibly miss the postseason in 2013.
The free agency period of 2013 will have players like Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum, Josh Smith and Chris Paul, so it might yet be worth wasting another year of Dirk's career in order to cash in next summer.
Until that point, the Dallas Mavericks may be best known as the one team that choked more than any other in the 2012 NBA free agency period.