Mark Cuban never second-guessed the Jason Kidd deal when it was the popular thing to do. He certainly isn’t going to have any regret about it after Kidd played such a key role in winning a ring.
However, the pair of picks that the Mavericks included in the package shipped to New Jersey are proof that quality players can be found in the bottom half of the first round, something the Mavs must start doing consistently to build a contender without breaking the bank under the new CBA.
The career paths of those picks also serve as proof that the Nets have been clueless, although they were dealt away before current GM Billy King took over. (Not that King hasn’t provided evidence that his plan is shaky at best. Exhibit A: Trading away the Nets’ lottery pick for rental role player Gerald Wallace.)
A look at what has become of the picks the Mavs parted with in the Kidd deal:
Ryan Anderson: The 21st overall pick in the 2008 draft has developed into one of the best perimeter-shooting power forwards in the NBA. Anderson was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player this season, even though his per-36-minute numbers are nearly identical to last season. He just got more minutes while serving as the second-leading scorer on a playoff team, averaging 16.1 points and 7.7 rebounds while shooting 39.3 percent (and taking the majority of his shots) from 3-point range. He was the throw-in with Vince Carter on the deal that sent Rafer Alston, Tony Battie and Courtney Lee to New Jersey.
Jordan Crawford: The shooting guard, who became famous for the confiscated-tape dunk on LeBron James during a summer camp while in college, provides scoring punch off the pine for a bad Wizards team. The 27th overall pick of the 2010 draft has averaged 13.5 points in two NBA seasons. The Nets swapped picks with the Hawks on draft day, taking Damion James. Atlanta moved Crawford to Washington midway through his rookie season.