NBA Free Agency 2012: Why Jason Kidd Is a Perfect Mentor for Jeremy Lin

Peter EmerickSenior Writer IIJuly 5, 2012

Courtesy of
Courtesy of

In a shocking turn of events, ESPN's Marc Stein is reporting that Jason Kidd has decided to rescind his agreement to resign with Mavericks in favor of a multi-year deal with the New York Knicks.


In another unforeseen twist of this wild offseason, sources say Jason Kidd has decided to leave Mavs and join Knicks on a multiyear deal

— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 5, 2012


Now I don't work in the Knicks' front office, but I'm assuming that the Knicks don't think Jason Kidd is the point guard of the future in the Big Apple. Kidd is a solid, veteran point guard who's certainly capable of being a productive piece of the Knicks' rotation.

But he's certainly not a player who is going to be able to turn the Knicks into NBA title contenders overnight.

Kidd is a veteran who could come in and provide consistent production to the tune of seven points and five assists per game off the bench. More importantly, Kidd is a veteran who can come in and be the perfect mentor for younger players, like the point guard the Knicks absolutely must re-sign—Jeremy Lin.

According to, the Houston Rockets have offered Lin a multi-year deal worth close to $25 million that is backloaded, for the purpose of making it hard for the Knicks to match the offer due to the luxury tax it would cost the Knicks.

If the Knicks start the 2012-'13 season without Lin on the roster, and Kidd as their starting point guard, they will be the big losers of the 2012 offseason.

The Knicks absolutely must throw everything they have at resigning Lin, because now they have the veteran mentoring for Lin that they lacked last season. Kidd is the perfect mentor for Lin because Kidd does something extremely well that is actually Lin's biggest weakness, and that is protecting the ball.

Last season, Kidd averaged just 1.9 turnovers per game, which is a far cry from the 3.6 turnovers that Lin averaged.

If the Knicks want to contend in the Eastern Conference with teams like the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat, they need Lin to understand how to control the pace of a game and protect the ball at all costs. Those things are exactly what Kidd brings to the court and more importantly, it's what he can offer Lin as a mentor.

Kidd, with 18 years of NBA experience, knows everything there is to know about how the NBA works and how to have a long and successful career.

With a point guard tandem of Lin and Kidd, the Knicks could certainly become a legitimate contender in the East. With just Kidd running the point I'd be surprised if the Knicks would be able to make the playoffs.

It's not that Kidd isn't a good player, because he is. He's just not the point guard that the Knicks need.

Let's hope the Knicks' front office knows what they're doing by signing Kidd, because if this signing results in failing to sign Lin, the Knicks could be in a lot of trouble heading into next year.

If the Knicks can manage to have both Kidd and Lin on the roster heading into the 2012-13 season, Lin will not only be a more mature, effective point guard, the Knicks will also be ready to truly compete in the East.