Team owner Mark Cuban announced via his Twitter feed Tuesday afternoon that he was “getting ready to fly up to NYC for [a] Free Agent meeting at 12:01 [a.m.].” Sources with knowledge of Cuban’s plans confirmed to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein that the meeting is scheduled with Kidd at the first allowable minute of 2009 NBA free agency Wednesday morning.
Cuban’s pitch will precede a Kidd meeting with the Knicks in New York, according to the New York Daily News. Although the unrestricted free agent has indicated in the past that he would give Dallas the first chance to re-sign him, the 35-year-old Kidd likely has other suitors.
Kidd averaged 9.0 points and 8.7 assists for a Mavericks team that won 50 games last season. After steamrolling the Spurs in five games in the first round of the playoffs, the Mavs were taken out in five by the Nuggets.
Kidd was acquired by Dallas the year before, but that Mavs team lost in the first round of the playoffs. The Mavericks lost in the Finals in 2005-06 and then won 67 games the following season before bowing out in the first round of the playoffs. Kidd was expected to be the veteran piece to team with Dirk Nowitzki and get them over the hump when the Mavs gave up young point guard Devin Harris in a multiplayer deal with the Nets.
Kidd made more than $21 million last season. At 36, he knows to expect a dip — but how much could be the big difference. Another likely factor will be the length of the contract.
The Lakers and Cavaliers might only offer a one-year deal, dangling their hopes of a title as incentive. Kidd would then be a free agent again in 2010, meaning he’d still have a chance for one last big payday.