Devean George controls whether Kidd-to-Mavs happens Print
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Thursday, 14 February 2008 00:30
NBA Headline News

 DALLAS (AP) -Devean George won three rings playing alongside Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant. He joined the Dallas Mavericks before last season thinking he might add to his collection playing alongside Dirk Nowitzki.
Now the Mavs have a chance to get Jason Kidd, too. George might be pretty excited - if he wasn't among the players being offered for the superstar point guard.
But George doesn't want to go, and he doesn't have to because of a virtual no-trade clause known as ``early Bird rights.''
So, for now at least, the deal is off.
``I've got to do what's best for me,'' George said late Wednesday, after going 0-for-11 with zero points in 33 minutes of Dallas' 96-76 victory over Portland. ``My agent wants me to wait until he can talk to me and explain what the risks are ... instead of just jumping the gun.''
eam, and it's my obligation to do what's best for Devean. You don't want to stop teams from doing their business, but we don't feel like it makes sense at this time.''
Whether this is a setback or a deal-breaker will be determined in the coming days. The trade deadline is next Thursday.
The deal was supposed to be George, emerging point guard Devin Harris, veteran Jerry Stackhouse and reserves DeSagana Diop and Maurice Ager going to New Jersey and Kidd, Malik Allen and Antoine Wright going to Dallas, according to a league source who spoke on condition of anonymity because it wasn't finalized.
Stackhouse said he's only part of the trade ``to make the numbers work.'' He indicated the Nets would buy out his contract, enabling him to re-sign with Dallas in a month.
``Getting bought out, if that happens, my first choice would be to come back to Dallas. I'm settled in, just bought a house,'' he said.
George's ``early Bird rights,'' which come from being on his second one-year deal, mainly give him a chance to sign his next contract for more than the salary cap allows. However, he's unlikely to command that much anyway. Another benefit is the veto power that's also part of those rights, as per the NBA's collective bargaining agreement.
Thus, while Kidd is the centerpiece of the deal, George is the linchpin.
e George said he heard fans hollering things like, ``C'mon, what are you doing?'' and, ``Stop it, you're holding things up.'' Other lines included, ``Quit being selfish,'' and ``We want Kidd.''
``All the finger-pointing is at me,'' he said. ``I'm the bad guy. I'll take that.''
Judging by homemade signs at Wednesday night's game in Dallas, fans were against the deal. One wrote ``No Trade, No Kidding,'' and a section over, there were signs saying ``Keep Harris,'' with a heart dotting the i; another read, ``Stop KIDD'n around Cuban!'' with faces of three players Dallas would deal below it. Under one basket, though, a poster read, ``Welcome Back Kidd.''
Kidd, Allen and Wright were inactive for New Jersey. George and Diop played, while Harris, Stackhouse and Ager were inactive; Harris and Stackhouse are hurt and Ager is in the NBDL.
Nets coach Lawrence Frank talked about life without his All-Star point guard prior to his team's 109-91 loss in Toronto.
``I love him. He's a very special person, but it's time for both him and the organization to part ways,'' Frank said. ``We're giving up a Hall of Fame point guard and some good role players. If this deal goes through, we'll be receiving some very good players as well and a new era of Nets basketball will start because Jason is that significant a player.''
d Harris. Dallas has been close in recent years, losing in the NBA finals in 2006, then winning 67 games last season before flaming out in the first round.
``He would bring great leadership,'' Mavericks guard Jason Terry said. ``He's a Hall of Fame point guard who knows how to win and how to lead. He's played in the Finals. He's a guy we could learn from. If it happens, it would be great for the organization.''
Mavs officials have been reluctant to shake up their roster, but a recent slump and the moves by conference rivals may have helped change their minds. The Lakers got things going by plucking Pau Gasol from Memphis, then last week Phoenix traded for Shaquille O'Neal. San Antonio also has added point guard Damon Stoudamire to its rotation.
``It's been kind of stagnant all season,'' Stackhouse said. ``I think you just try to find the right piece. Maybe this is the right piece that really helps our team, that gets our scorers easy opportunities. Getting Pau or Shaq wouldn't have helped that case. Getting a point guard, that gets you easy opportunities. It solves that issue for us.''
Kidd broke into the league in 1994-95 when Dallas made him the third overall pick. He was voted co-Rookie of the Year, but the club was such a mess it was better known as the Mav-wrecks.
He went to New Jersey from Phoenix before the 2001-02 season, then led the Nets to the NBA finals in each of his first two seasons. But they haven't gotten past the second round of the playoffs since. With the club well under .500, he's been looking to get traded for months.
Although Kidd turns 35 on March 23, he's still among the league's best point guards. He's averaging 11.3 points, 10.4 assists and 8.1 rebounds.
 

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