The first hot Jason Kidd trade rumor surfaced earlier today and is of the three team variety. Henry Abbot of Truehoop, after reading reports from several sources and conferring with the "ESPN's salary cap people" (probably messing around with the Trade Machine) has outlined the parameters of a deal between the New Jersey Nets, Portland Trailblazers and Dallas Mavericks that works under the cap. This is what Abbot thinks the deal will roughly look like:
Dallas Gets: Jason Kidd from New Jersey and a minimum contract from Portland/New Jersey
Portland Gets: Devin Harris from Dallas and a minimum contract from New Jersey/Dallas
New Jersey Gets: Travis Outlaw, Channing Frye, Jarrett Jack and player/pick from Portland AND Devean George, Jerry Stackhouse, 1-2 low salary players/pick from Dallas.
The motivations of the Nets and Mavs are fairly clear here. Dallas mortages the future, dealing their young, up and coming point guard Devin Harris along with some short-term cap flexibility for a year and a half of J-Kidd. As soon as this trade goes through, the Mavs step into win-now mode with a 2 year window for a championship.
New Jersey takes the first steps towards getting younger and clearing cap space. Jerry Stackhouse and Devean George both have expiring contracts while Channing Frye and Jarrett Jack are eligible to come off the books after next season clearing ample cap space heading into the summer of 2009.
In Travis Outlaw the Nets get an affordable 23 year old small forward who has steadily improved as the season has wore on and is currently averaging 15.5 point and 5 rebounds a game in the month of January. In addition, Outlaw's presence will more smoothly facilitate a transition if the Nets follow up a Kidd deal with an offseason trade of RJ or Vince (if there are any takers out there). Throw in a draft pick or 2 and this is nice haul for the Nets.
At first glance, Portland's reasoning for participating in this 3-way trade is not apparent. However, Abbot raised a good point about Portland being on the verge of opening next season with 22 players on the team and only 15 roster spots. Thus, this deal would serve the dual purpose of solidifying the point guard position while shedding some bodies in preparation for 2008. Let's take a look at the players being traded on Portland's end:
Jarrett Jack: The addition of Devin Harris immediately makes Jarrett Jack expendable with Steve Blake and Sergio Rodriguez in place as solid back up point guard options.
Channing Frye: Frye has some potential but is currently averaging about 18 minutes a night and with Greg Oden on the horizon, his playing time could dip further.
Travis Outlaw: The loss of Outlaw, a key to the Blazers success on both ends this season, will hurt. However, the combination of young sharp shooter Martell Webster and veteran James Jones should adequately offset Outlaw's absence. Essentially, Outlaw's youth, upside and reasonable contract (owed four million per year over the next 3) is the player that makes this deal happen on the Nets end.
Most importantly, in Devin Harris Portland gains a point guard that is an ideal fit for their team going forward. Harris is an excellent defender and provides the Blazers with a true floor general who can prosper in half court sets as well as push the tempo. Harris is also a good complement to Brandon Roy who will be able to play off the ball more and expand his offensive game.
This is a deal that features a lot of players moving to new teams. Thus, the fantasy impact of thedeal will reverberate throughout each roster.
New Jersey Nets
The departure of Kidd immediately opens the door for 2006 first round pick Marcus Williams to become the Nets starter. Williams is an excellent passer and has shown that he is more than capable of running the Nets offense when Kidd is not on the floor. Playing starter minutes, Williams will be a double digit assist threat on a nightly basis and can also contribute in points and steals.
The arrivals of Outlaw and Frye will create a logjam in the frontcourt. The Nets already have several young forwards including FSE favorite sons Sean Williams and Josh Boone vying for minutes at the PF and C slots. With Nenad Kristic set to return in a week or so, it will be interesting to see how the playing time is distributed.
As for the remaining pieces in the deal, Jarrett Jack will serve as a backup to Williams and will most likely have limited value in New Jersey. Jerry Stackhouse might see some backup minutes while Devean George is most likely looking at a buyout.
I feel that Devin Harris' value is unchanged by a move to Portland and he remains a solid point guard option. Playing in a bit of a more up tempo style in Dallas, Harris was putting up 15 points a game to go along with 5 assists and 1+ steals. While his scoring numbers may decline a point or 2, the Blazers will rely on him plenty as the primary ball handler and he should increase his assist totals to over 6 a contest. In addition, the departure of Travis Outlaw will open up a starting spot for Martell Webster who has the ability to help a fantasy team in points and three pointers if given adequate playing time.
Jason Kidd instantly makes Dallas better in the short-term and his arrival should increase the offensive outputs of Dirk Nowitzki and Josh Howard. Dallas' new big 3 will prosper together and Kidd should enjoy a small boost in his numbers as Avery Johnson's offensive system is a good match for his skill set and he will surrounded by a more talented group of scorers.