Dallas Mavericks: How Much Does Jason Kidd Realistically Have Left in the Tank?

Andre KhatchaturianCorrespondent IIISeptember 12, 2011

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 12:  Jason Kidd #2 of the Dallas Mavericks answers questions from the media as the Larry O'Brien Championship trophy sits on the table during a post game news conference after the Mavericks won 105-95 against the Miami Heat in Game Six of the 2011 NBA Finals at American Airlines Arena on June 12, 2011 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

This past season, Jason Kidd capped off an illustrious career with an NBA title. He was the second overall pick back in 1994 and he's lived up to that billing with 10 NBA All-Star Game appearances, averaging 13.2 points per game and dishing out 9.1 assists per game.

He brought in valuable leadership and helped facilitate the Mavericks offense to help them win the title. 

There is still value in Kidd. He's a great locker room guy and his experience on the court is unmatched.

However, he's 38 years old and he'll turn 39 next March. If the NBA season is lost to the lockout, Kidd might be 40 by the next time he plays in a playoff game.

No team wants a point guard late in their 30s to lead their team. The fact of the matter is, Kidd has lost more than a step and he's a liability, defensively. Sure, he helped bring flow to the offense, but the Mavericks can easily sign somebody else and be able to compete for the title without him.

Kidd can still bring some value off the bench for either the Mavericks or another team, but his starting days are over. 

In a league quickly being dominated by high profile point guards, teams need to have athletic defenders. Jason Kidd is not going to be able to stop guys like Derrick Rose, Deron Williams, Chris Paul, Kyrie Irving and Rajon Rondo.

In fact, one can easily say that the Mavericks were able to win the title because the teams they defeated in the postseason were not necessarily strong at the point guard position—making Kidd less of a liability.

The Mavs swept the Lakers who have an aging point guard in Derek Fisher. Then they defeated the Miami Heat, whose major weakness is at the point position. 

In the series against Oklahoma City, star point guard Russell Westbrook went off on Kidd. In these pressure-packed playoff games, Westbrook averaged 23.6 points per game. Kidd couldn't do anything against him and Westbrook was able to score higher than his regular season average. 

If Dallas had faced the Chicago Bulls in the NBA Finals, there is no doubt Derrick Rose would've had many a field day against Kidd. 

Now, it's true that Kidd can still dish the rock, but it's defense that wins championships. Dallas had Tyson Chandler, Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion and Brendan Haywood playing incredible defense in the paint, and this was what helped them win the championship. Kidd facilitating the offense helped, but it wasn't the main reason for the title. 

The Dallas Mavericks could still use Kidd because of his veteran leadership and the fact that he still has the ability to pass and put up assists on the stat sheet, but they should only limit him to bench time.

It sounds outrageous, but against the best point guards in the league, he will become a defensive liability. If Dallas wants to win championships again, they are going to have to face the Russell Westbrooks and Derrick Roses of the world constantly.

Kidd can probably be an effective option against a team like Golden State or Phoenix, but Dallas needs someone that can be stingy on defense, and quite frankly, Kidd can't do that anymore.