Kidd Signs With The Knicks

For years, the Knicks have lacked depth at the point guard position. Since the departure of Stephon Marbury in 2009, the Knicks haven’t had a viable and productive option at point guard. That all changed last season  in a 25 game stretch with the emergence of Jeremy Lin, a guard whom the Knicks claimed off-waivers from the Houston Rockets.

Now, in the summer of 2012, Lin is a free agent and has signed an offer sheet with the team whom waived him after training camp. The Knicks are expected to match any offer made toward Lin, and to validate Lin as their point guard of the future, the Knicks have gone after several experienced floor generals to help tutor Lin.

Knicks GM Glen Grunwald made several attempts at signing two-time MVP Steve Nash, but they were spurned by Nash when he signed with the Lakers.

Knicks forward Carmello Anthony was shocked when Nash decided to sign with the Lakers, but those sentiments about Nash were forgotten when Grunwald shocked the basketball world and announced the signing of legendary point guard and future Hall Of Famer  Jason Kidd.

“I was shocked to hear Nash was going to the Lakers,’’ Anthony said Friday after the U.S. Olympic Team opened training camp in Las Vegas. “I honestly really thought he’d be in New York. But it was definitely a shock. To hear the J-Kidd news kind of took that burden off a bit.”

The Kidd and Lin tandem is going to help the Knicks on several fronts. The chemistry issue between Anthony and Amare  Stoudemire will greatly benefit from the presence of Kidd. The addition of Jason Kidd provides the Knicks with a player who can defend on the perimeter, rebound the ball, and shoot the open three.

Even with being the second oldest player in the NBA, at age 39, Kidd is still a respected floor general who demands the most from his teammates.

“It really doesn’t matter; Steve Nash, Jason Kidd. A point guard is a point guard,’’ Anthony said. “Someone to run the team, get guys in their position, get everyone going. It takes a lot of pressure off me to try to do everything out there. I can pick my spots. With Jason, it’s a point guard to bring the ball up the court and get everyone involved. I don’t have to do much ball-handling. My mindset is working off the ball a lot; this helps me out to prepare for that”.

Kidd is now reunited with former Dallas Maverick teammate Tyson Chandler. Chandler flourished under Kidd on the offensive end of the court due to Kidd’s use of the pick and roll.  With Kidd as his PG in Dallas, Chandler had one of the best scoring averages of his career – 10.11 points 9.35 rebounds, and 1.44 blocks per game.

“I talked to him all summer,’’ Chandler said. “I honestly didn’t think we had a good shot at him. I thought New York would be a great place for him. I expressed that to him. I was just as surprised as everyone else when he made the decision. I feel like he definitely has a lot left,’’ Chandler said. “I’d throw his age out the window. He’s definitely valued on the court, but he’s more valued off the court. Whether in the locker room, film, in the huddle, he’s unbelievable”

Kidd will be a valuable asset in helping the development of Lin. Yes, Lin did take the NBA by storm last season, but he only did it in 25 games playing against less than stellar teams. There are still too many questions about Lin’s game. Can he defend on a consistent basis? Can he score on a consistent basis? Does he still have trouble going left? How can he get on the same page with the rest of his teammates?

When Anthony returned from injury during the height of “Linsanity,” he struggled playing alongside Lin. It wasn’t until after Lin went down with an injury and was ruled out for the remainder of the season, that Anthony found his stride and had the best stretch of his Knick career during Lin’s absence during the month of April.

Kidd, in an interview on WFAN yesterday, said, “With the intention of signing Lin back, I saw that I can help. Hopefully, help them win and help Lin. He’s a talented point guard, so at this stage I just felt I could help those guys. I think he’s going to be a consistent player, then it’s up to the media to label him great or good. But if you’re consistent in the league, you’ll win a lot of ballgames. So that’s what I’m here to try to help him with.’’

Kidd was rumored to sign with Brooklyn as a package deal alongside Deron Williams. That rumor seemed to gain steam when a picture of Williams and Kidd surfaced of the two of them playing golf together.

“I thought it was a good spot for him, a good situation for him,’’ Williams said. “Number one, he can help that team out a lot; as far as distributing the ball, getting the ball in the right spots, taking the pressure off Carmelo to lead the team. He’s definitely a veteran guy who knows how to play the game and will be a Hall of Famer. He doesn’t have to do as much as he had to do with Dallas. At his age, it will help him out a lot. I thought he was going to Dallas. We didn’t even talk about the Knicks. It kind of came out of nowhere.’’

Kidd will make everyone on the Knicks better, and will help the long term development of Jeremy Lin. He will help mature this roster from immature players who fold even when some expectations are accepted from them, and finally he will bring this franchise something they haven’t had since the days of Patrick Ewing – respectability.

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About the Author

Jammel Cutler Jammel Cutler is a sports columnist that covers the NBA. He can be reached on twitter @JCut_NBA

Comments (10)

  1. Kevin

    Kidd is a great addition to this team, they need someone who knows when to tell carmello Anthony no.however I think he is going to be brought in to work with Lin.

  2. Malcolm lewis

    Jason Kidd is about 58 years old there is now way he can have any Real impact on the Knicks. They should of signed him about 10 years ago. I don t think Kidd is is going to lead them to a championship. Yes he makes a difference on the floor but he is past his prime.

  3. julie hall

    this is an excellent pick up by the knicks. Im glad woodson is the coach, because MDA system would kill Kidd knees. Kidd is going to make everyone on this team better Lin included. i agree with you i think he is going to solve the issues between stat and melo, but i think father time will catch up with kidd this season, as you know father time is undefeated.Only time will tell if kidd makes a diff for this team, but one of my questions about this pick up, incase of injury is kidd ready to step up and play extended minutes for a like 10 to 15 games. One more think i think tony douglas has to find his mojo he was ok player not a allstar but decent, last yr he lost his confidence i think kidd will help bring back tony douglas career. He is a good on ball defender just like Shumpert.

  4. julie hall

    i thought steve nash would of been the better option but kidd is a good short term option

  5. Mark Madden

    i think raymond felton would of been a better fit than both KIDD and Nash, Ray is younger in his prime, and already has a on the court realtionship with STAT.

  6. Chuck

    Whether it was Kidd or Nash the Knicks need a pg with experience

  7. Craig James

    I think Andre miller or Raymond Felton would of been the better option at pg, but great article

  8. Brianna Miller

    Great piece, excellent read kidd will take the knicks to all new heights, but this move should of been made 10 yrs ago when kidd was still in his prime.

  9. Monica white

    I think the Knicks resigning Lin to that huge contract Houston offered is a big mistake he hasn’t proven himself yet Kidd is a great insurance policy

  10. Mike Smith

    knicks should Let Lin go get that 30mil that Houston has overpaid him & fill out the Roster. Re-sign Novak, Jr Smith. Bring in Felton, Camby & Foye. That covers it all

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