The news, reported by ESPN's Marc Stein:
UPDATE: Sources tell @espnsteinline that J-Kidd's deal w/ #Mavs is for 3 years, $9M. That'd take him to age 42. Story: es.pn/LqtQK5— ESPNDallas (@ESPNDallas) July 5, 2012
Jason Kidd will now be a Maverick till he's 42-years-old and through 2015. But he shot a higher three-point percentage in 2012 then he did in 2011. So, he's getting better, you guys.
Unfortunately the Mavericks are in the tough position of trying to maximize Dirk Nowitzki's final prime years while also trying to balance their payroll for the future. Dallas struck out on Deron Williams and will come up to bat again next summer with Chris Paul and Dwight Howard.
The move neither helps nor destroys the Mavericks: it places them in limbo, with a player who is clearly deteriorating but remains a better option then the alternative of placing the point guard duties into the hands of Rodrigue Beaubois, Dominique Jones or the even rawer Jared Cunningham.
But it slightly negates the purpose of the Mavericks overhauling their roster a year ago. Dallas has made an effort to slash payroll and create cap space at every conceivable angle: they turned Tyson Chandler's trade exception into a contract that had clear outs (Lamar Odom). They signed low-cost, high-reward vets and young enigmas to cheap deals (Vince Cater, Delonte West, Brandan Wright) and turned the last two NBA drafts into more cap saving opportunities (traded Jordan Hamilton for Rudy Fernandez in 2011, moved back from 17 to 24 in 2012.)
So after all those penny-pinching moves, the Mavericks decided to add three more years to a player that will only get exponentially worse. It will be a shame if the Mavericks are befuddled yet again on trying to sign a star player if Kidd's contract gets in the way. Again, it isn't a massive amount of money at all, it's quite reasonable, all things considered (except the years). But for an organization that has been regarding cap space like gold, it's a strange move.
Perhaps the Mavericks feel Kidd is their best recruiting chip. With Kidd on the books in the summer of 2013, he can personally talk to Chris Paul and tell him to come to Dallas, or Dwight Howard. And clearly, the Mavericks are looking to keep Kidd with the organization after he retires and some reports say Kidd's final year might have some stipulations to let him slide into a front office position.
That's apparently value enough for the Mavericks. It doesn't make the team better or worse. Dallas will still have the same weaknesses: trouble creating off the dribble and trying to find places for Kidd to hide on defense against the upper-tier point guards. Dallas will also have to keep Kidd on an even stricter minutes-plan to maximize whatever is left from the 39-year-old, so Beaubois, Jones and Cunningham still need to be ready.