Jason Kidd knows he doesn't have much time in the NBA left and said he was open to a backup role so he could mentor a young, talented point guard. Could Jeremy Lin have that honor headed into next season?
New York Knicks can't move in free agency until league ruling on Lin
The salary cap isn't a pretty one for the New York Knicks. They have little to no room for making major moves in free agency and their best hope to tweak their roster rests with arbitrator Kenneth Dam. If he rules that players can keep their Bird Rights into free agency, it will allow the Knicks to go over the salary cap to re-sign their own free agents. The biggest one of course is mid-season sensation Jeremy Lin. If the ruling goes against the NBA players association, New York would have to use its only major contract offer to keep the young point guard while staying under the cap. While not a terrible result, it does put a lot of faith in Lin being able to regain his form that helped the team win eight straight to save a trip to the playoffs. All anyone knows is the ruling will come sometime before July 1st when free agency will begin. Until then, all the Knicks can do is form a plan for either scenario.
Knicks would have to fight Chicago Bulls and Brooklyn Nets for Kidd
Even at 39 years old, Jason Kidd has enough experience and skill to help a team at point guard. He has already said in interviews he has no problem backing up a young talent and mentoring him to better his game. For whoever has that honor will learn from a first ballot Hall of Fame player. That is why New York wants the arbitrator ruling to go in their favor. With the salary cap issues resolved, they could keep Lin and still have a good contract offer to lure Kidd to the Big Apple, something he's more than open to doing. The problem is, other teams in the Eastern Conference have good reasons to make sure he doesn't. Among them are the new cross-town rival Brooklyn Nets. Like New York, they have free agency problems of their own at point guard with superstar Deron Williams expected to leave. While not a permanent solution, Kidd would help the Nets bring along a young draft pick or free agent so the loss didn't hurt too badly. The other team in the hunt is the Chicago Bulls. With their own star Derrick Rose healing from a torn ACL in his left knee, Kidd would step in immediately as the starter on a team many think is ready for a championship run.
Battles for free agents are nothing new for the New York Knicks. They just don't like it when court rulings get in the way. While Jeremy Lin is their top priority, teams like the Chicago Bulls and Brooklyn Nets might keep them from giving the young star a chance to learn from an all-time great in Jason Kidd.