Say what you want to say about him—and judging by some of the things that we've seen on Twitter today, people have plenty to say about him—but Jason Kidd has been extremely valuable to the Nets over the course of the last decade. And we're not talking about what he's been able to do for them on the court as a player or on the sidelines as a head coach, either. Rather, we're talking about what the Nets have been able to acquire in trades for Kidd since 2008.
Earlier today, the Nets agreed to trade Kidd—who retired from the NBA and was named Brooklyn's head coach last summer—to the Milwaukee Bucks. He will serve as the head coach of the Bucks next season and will, presumably, have some say in their front-office decisions moving forward. But this isn't the first time they've traded Kidd. They also traded him to the Dallas Mavericks back in February 2008 for a handful of assets. So this latest trade got us to thinking: Which trade was more valuable to the Nets? Or better yet, which version of Jason Kidd ended up being more valuable overall to the Nets—Kidd, the player, or Kidd, the head coach?
To try and answer that question, we took a look back at where Kidd was at in his career prior to both trades, what the Nets were able to get for him, and how each trade helped the franchise. Take a look at how Kidd helped the Nets both then and now…
Date: February 2008
Kidd's Age: 34
Notable Accomplishments the Previous Season: During the 2006-07 NBA season, Kidd averaged 13.0 points and 9.2 assists per game while leading the New Jersey Nets to a 41-41 record. The Nets lost in the second round of the 2007 NBA Playoffs to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Through 51 games during the 2007-08 NBA season, he averaged 11.3 points and 10.4 assists per game.
What the Nets Obtained for Him: The Nets sent Kidd, Malik Allen, and Antoine Wright to the Mavericks in exchange for Devin Harris, DeSagana Diop, Trenton Hassell, Maurice Ager, Keith Van Horn, the Mavericks' 2008 and 2010 first-round draft picks (which helped them land Ryan Anderson in 2008 and Damion Jones in 2010), and $3 million in cash.
How the Trade Ultimately Helped the Franchise: The Nets struggled—and struggled mightily—after trading Kidd away. They finished 34-48 during the 2007-08 NBA season and then proceeded to spend the next five years under .500. The Kidd trade did end up helping the Nets acquire Deron Williams in February 2011, though. They used Harris, first-round draft pick Derrick Favors, and $3 million cash (possibly the same $3 million cash that Mark Cuban sent over in the Kidd deal?) to land Williams in a trade with the Utah Jazz. But none of the other players acquired in the trade lasted for more than three seasons with the Nets and neither draft pick really benefited the Nets, though you could obviously argue that they gave up on Anderson way too early on in his career when they traded him to the Orlando Magic in June 2009.
Date: June 2014
Kidd's Age: 41
Notable Accomplishments the Previous Season: In his first and only season as the Brooklyn Nets head coach, Kidd helped the team assemble a 44-38 record. The Nets lost in the second round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs to the Miami Heat.
What the Nets Obtained for Him: The Nets sent Kidd's coaching rights to the Bucks in exchange for the Bucks' 2015 and 2019 second-round draft picks.
How the Trade Ultimately Helped the Franchise: In addition to the draft picks, the trade could also potentially help the Nets land a head coach with more experience than Kidd currently has. A few names that have already come up as possible replacements for Kidd are Mark Jackson, Lionel Hollins, and George Karl.
It's still too early to say which of these two trades was more valuable to the Nets. But it is worth noting (again!) that, after trading Kidd away, the Nets finished below .500 for the next five seasons and that included the 2009-10 NBA season, which featured them going just 12-70 on the year. And while Devin Harris did eventually help the Nets land Deron Williams in February 2011, Diop, Hassell, Ager, and Van Horn had very little impact with the Nets and neither of the players selected with the draft picks obtained by the Mavericks are still on the Nets' roster.
With that in mind, Kidd's trade value as a head coach could potentially end up being more valuable than his trade value as a player, if the Nets hire a quality head coach this summer and use their second-round pick next year wisely and select a decent player. And in the end, the Nets could end up getting more in return for Kidd, the coach, than Kidd, the player. Go figure.