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Wednesday October 8, 2008 8:27 am

Dropping Dimes Mock Draft: Round 4, Pick 3 - Jason Kidd

Jason Kidd tugging on shorts
Everyone who has ever played ball, at any level, knows the universal tell for being gassed is a guy bent over, tugging on his shorts. The vultures circle Jason Kidd this year, after he did not lead the Dallas Mavericks to any success in the playoffs, and while he played as the starter on the United States basketball team, from what I saw and heard, both Chris Paul and Deron Williams outplayed him and were used more down the stretch in games. Should Jason Kidd prepare to ride into the sunset on a hall-of-fame career?

Once a surefire first-rounder, the strengths and weaknesses in his game have established themselves for many years now. The question remains, has he slipped far enough in drafts that he now becomes very good value?

Round 4, Pick 3: Jason Kidd, PG, Dallas Mavericks

Take a look at the splits on Kidd and his time with both New Jersey and Dallas last season.

In 51 games with the Nets: 36.6 FG%, 82.0 FT%, 11.3 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 10.4 apg, 1.7 3pt, 1.5 spg, 0.3 bpg, 3.6 topg

In 29 games with the Mavs: 42.6 FG%, 81.5 FT%, 9.9 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 9.5 apg, 1.2 3pt, 2.1 spg, 0.4 bpg, 2.8 topg

What makes Kidd and his shooting tough to figure out is that from beyond the arc, his percentages compare relatively favorably to the league average. As a Mav, he shot over 46% from behind the arc. For his career, he splashes in about one in three moneyballs. Unlike someone like Luol Deng, who eliminated the three-point attempt in his game and his field goal percentage rose exponentially, Kidd can hit the trey. Yet for his career, he has barely shot 40%, 40.1% to be exact. Shooting woes made the fantasy nation diss Allen Iverson all those years. Yet Kidd has managed to get the love. The rebounds have a lot to do with that, as Kidd can match a power forward or center’s production in board work. Ironically Iverson heads up this fantasy team, with Carlos Boozer and Andre Iguodala also on the team.

With the two A.I.s in tow, plus Kidd, this team should win steals each and every week, regardless of how the rest of the draft goes. Iverson can even out Kidd’s lack of points to a certain extent. Free throw percentage and assists also look very strong. Blocks remain a glaring weakness, but the run of next tier big men should happen over the next one two rounds.

For my part, I expect Dallas to be in a dogfight to make the playoffs. They will probably stand to finish fourth in the division, but that could still earn them the sixth seed in the conference. That means that Kidd should continue to log about 37 minutes of playing time, despite his veteran status. Minutes means points, pretty simple math there.

Would you rather have Devin Harris or Jason Kidd moving forward? For Net fans, Mav fans and fantasy hoopsters everywhere, it makes for an interesting debate.

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