Mavs, Nets find a way to get Kidd to Dallas

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

DALLAS (AP) -- Jason Kidd is headed to the Dallas Mavericks after all, although in a trade that's slightly different than originally arranged.

The new deal -- as reported by various media outlets Sunday night, all citing anonymous sources -- has Kidd and forward Malik Allen going to Dallas for point guard Devin Harris, center DeSagana Diop and swingman Maurice Ager, plus a few new pieces: retired forward Keith Van Horn and Trenton Hassell.

New Jersey also will get two first-round draft picks and $3 million.

Van Horn and Hassell replace Jerry Stackhouse and Devean George. Stackhouse's presence in the deal was muddled by plans to get him back to Dallas -- within the rules, although in a way the league frowned upon -- and George used his veto power to block his involvement.

The reconfigured proposal is expected to be offered for league approval Monday. If all goes as planned, Kidd could make his return to the team that drafted him when the Mavericks play in New Orleans on Wednesday night.

"There's a lot of talk that the deal is done," Kidd said after Sunday's All-Star game in New Orleans, where word of the trade broke. "I've heard that before. Until I get a call from Rod (Thorn) or Mark (Cuban), then it will be official."

A spokesman for the New Jersey Nets declined comment at the game.

If all goes as planned, Kidd will be back in the Western Conference by the time the All-Star break ends.

Kidd spent the first 2-plus seasons of his career in Dallas. The Mavs drafted him third overall in 1994 and he was the NBA's co-rookie of the year in '94-95. He was traded to Phoenix in December 1996, then went from the Suns to New Jersey prior to the 2001-02 season. He helped the Nets reach the NBA finals his first two seasons, but they haven't made a long playoff run since.

The Mavericks have been among the NBA's top teams the last few years, but have fallen short of a title. They're trading Harris' promising future in hopes that Kidd, who turns 35 next month, has enough tenacity and leadership to push them over the top.

Dallas has been eyeing Kidd for a while. Team owner Mark Cuban may have sped up the process after seeing other top Western Conference teams make pivotal additions.

This deal seemed done earlier last week until George whacked it. Stackhouse's talk of being bought out and re-signing with the Mavs also didn't sit well with league officials.

The big winner in this is Van Horn, who has been out of the league the last 1 1/2 seasons.

Dallas still owned his rights, so his involvement is essentially to make the numbers work. He'll be signed then traded -- and, like Kidd, he'll be heading back to his original team. It's unclear whether he'll actually play for the Nets, but it seems unlikely.


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