The Dallas Mavericks are expected to complete a trade Wednesday that will send Antoine Walker and guard Tony Delk to the Atlanta Hawks for guard Jason Terry and forward Alan Henderson, league sources have told ESPN.com.
With the league office closed Tuesday, the deal cannot be finalized before Wednesday, sources said.
Dallas also will receive a future first-round pick from Atlanta via Philadelphia. The protected pick was traded by the Sixers to the Hawks in the Glenn Robinson trade last summer and will be conveyed to the Mavericks by 2007.
The trade increases the likelihood that Jason Kidd will be staying with the New Jersey Nets in the short term. One source close to the point guard told ESPN.com last week that Kidd believes Dallas' Mark Cuban might be the only owner in the league willing to absorb the remaining five years and $90 million on Kidd's contract, and the Mavericks could choose to use Terry in a trade package to pursue Kidd closer to the February trade deadline.
But with the Nets not ready to deal Kidd -- and Kidd not yet demanding a trade -- Cuban opted for an immediate move to help fill the void at point guard created by Steve Nash's departure.
Although Terry is much more of a shooting guard than Nash, he has only two seasons left on a three-year, $24 million deal signed last summer -- making Terry a trade asset as well as a potential Nash replacement. Henderson is entering the final season of a seven-year, $45 million deal, meaning the Mavericks will still have two expiring contracts on the payroll -- Henderson and Christian Laettner -- to peddle in additional trades between now and February.
In Walker, Atlanta gets a former Eastern Conference All-Star who was shopped to several teams because he, too, is in the final year of his contract. Walker thus has ample motivation to put forth a strong season, although he had hoped to go to New York (Isiah Thomas is a 'Toine fan) or Philadelphia (whose new coach is Jim O'Brien, Walker's former boss in Boston).
Sources said the Mavericks have not ruled out pursuing Kidd later in the season, after Kidd proves his health following July 1 knee surgery. Acquiring Terry gives Dallas a point guard to offer New Jersey down the road while also protecting the Mavericks in case they can't strike a deal with the Nets.