Reaction to the stunning news Saturday night that the Brooklyn Nets have granted coach Jason Kidd permission to speak with the Milwaukee Bucks after his request for additional roles was denied by team ownership.
What it means: Kidd is all but done with the Nets. Kidd staying would create an awkward dynamic between him and GM Billy King moving forward, given that Kidd wanted a role that would’ve given him more power than King. ESPN.com’s Marc Stein is reporting that the Nets and Bucks are already talking about compensation to release Kidd.
Money disparity: Kidd got a four-year, $10.5 million contract with the Nets last offseason. This offseason, both Derek Fisher and Steve Kerr received five-year, $25 million contracts, a significant disparity in compensation. Like Kidd in 2013-14, Fisher and Kerr are both entering their first season as head coaches after long and fruitful playing careers.
Free-agent ramifications: Kidd is represented by agent Jeff Schwartz, who also represents unrestricted free agents-to-be Paul Pierce and Shaun Livingston. Pierce and Livingston both have strong relationships with Kidd, as does Kevin Garnett, who was expected to return for a 20th season. Who knows how this stunning turn of events will impact Garnett’s decision. Kidd was instrumental in convincing all three players to join the Nets.
Bucks ties: New Milwaukee co-owner Marc Lasry and Kidd are close. Lasry, a billionaire hedge fund manager, once served as Kidd’s financial adviser. It is believed Lasry would give Kidd the type of power he covets within that organization.
Year 1: Kidd’s first season with the Nets started with a ton of turmoil. There was the “sodagate” incident, as well as the reassignment of Lawrence Frank. Brooklyn was 10-21, but turned it around in 2014, going 34-17 to secure the sixth seed in the East. Kidd’s decision to move Livingston into the starting lineup after Brook Lopez was lost for the season proved to be a pivotal part of the turnaround.
Past transgressions: As a player, Kidd clashed with Byron Scott prior to Scott’s ouster in New Jersey. In 2000-01, Kidd was charged with domestic abuse after assaulting his now ex-wife; he has since re-married. In July 2012, Kidd was charged with a misdemeanor of driving while intoxicated. Both cases were settled via plea agreements.
Coaching candidates if Kidd leaves: The usual suspects include the likes of Brooklyn native Mark Jackson (via ESPNNewYork.com’s Ohm Youngmisuk), Lionel Hollins, Jeff Van Gundy and George Karl. But Kidd was an out-of-leftfield candidate, so the Nets could always decide to do something unconventional.