Let's at least agree on one thing: this is going to be very interesting week.
Reports late Saturday night suggested the Bucks and Nets were already discussing compensation for the release of Nets second year coach Jason Kidd, whose audacious (or fill in less flattering adjective) bid for control over basketball decision-making in Brooklyn seems increasingly likely to land him with similar power in Milwaukee. Reports indicate Kidd is intent on gaining control over basketball operations at minimum, though it remains unclear whether he would also coach if he landed in Milwaukee. I'd guess yes, but that's just a guess.
This morning our SBN sister site Nets Daily reported that Kidd's days in Brooklyn were "over," noting that the Bucks now believed that they had leverage to make a deal to hire Kidd without giving up the first round pick Brooklyn had reportedly sought. All of it is a must-read, but let's start at the top:
--There is no deal among Nets, Kidd and Bucks as of late Saturday. The Nets will not fire Kidd but his days with the Nets are over. There is deep bitterness in Nets ownership camp about how Kidd has treated them after they gave him a job despite having no coaching experience whatsoever ... and a checkered past.
--The Bucks have rejected the Nets' first demand in talks to provide the Nets with compensation for his departure. The Nets wanted a first round pick. Over next four drafts, the Bucks have four first rounders, all their own, and six second rounders, four of their own and two protected, one from the Kings and one from the Clippers and Kings.
First off: damn straight the Bucks shouldn't give up a first rounder for Kidd. While the Clippers might have been willing to part with a 2015 unprotected first for the right to poach Doc Rivers from Boston, the Kidd situation is markedly different on a number of different levels. For starters, Rivers is a far more sought-after commodity than Kidd, and there's also an enormous difference in value between a first rounder from the title-contending Clippers compared to the rebuilding Bucks. Add in the fact that new owners Marc Lasry and Wes Edens have trumpeted the importance of Milwaukee building through the draft and it becomes almost incomprehensible to give up a prime pick in order to hire a guy who already appears to have burned bridges in Brooklyn (there are a few). Realistically even one of the Bucks' own second rounders--likely to be in the 30s next year--would seem a steep price to pay for Kidd, who successfully turned around the Nets in January but has no experience on the basketball operations side.
Oh, and then there's this:
Nets were offended by Kidd having his agent, Jeff Schwartz, seek permission from ownership to talk with other teams. They would have preferred the Bucks new ownership, led by Kidd confidante and Nets minority investor Marc Lasry, contact them directly.
Add in Kidd's checkered past and the move would represent an ambitious but calculated gamble on the behalf of the Bucks' new ownership team, whose familiarity with Kidd extends back to Lasry's time as minority owner of the Nets. So while Kidd's brand name is no doubt part of the attraction, you would think Kidd also knew Milwaukee was an option before he went to Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov asking for the keys to the Nets' Kremlin. Over the past month Lasry and Edens had been careful not to make broad commitments to the Bucks' current front office and coaching staff beyond the draft, so all of this happening just a couple days after Thursday's draft doesn't seem likely to be a coincidence.
Speculating on how Kidd might impact the Bucks' future is difficult given his lack of track record other than a single, fairly successful year coaching the Nets, though early whispers are that Kidd's arrival would in no way change the Bucks' overall rebuilding plans. That's a stark contrast to the situation in Brooklyn, whose massive, veteran-laden payroll represents essentially the polar opposite of the young, cap-flexible situation in Milwaukee. Interestingly, the Nets Daily report (again, read it all now, then come back here) suggests that Kidd had hoped to ship Brook Lopez and Mirza Teletovic to Milwaukee in exchange for Larry Sanders and Ersan Ilyasova at the trade deadline, but Nets' brass was unconvinced. So maybe Larry Sanders would be more likely to get a chance at redemption with Kidd in charge? Who knows.
Whatever happens, Kidd hasn't made any friends in Brooklyn this week, and it does seem like things will be resolved sooner rather than later.
More news and reaction courtesy of Nets Daily:
- Jason Kidd in talks to run Bucks' basketball operations after failed power play with Nets - Adrian Wojnarowski - Yahoo! Sports
- Nets are better off without Jason Kidd - Mitch Lawrence - New York Daily News
- Jason Kidd may look bad now, but leaving Nets could be best move for him - Mike Lupica - New York Daily News
- Jason Kidd Expected to Leave as Nets Head Coach - Andrew Keh - New York Times
- Jason Kidd reportedly loses power struggle, may ditch Nets for Bucks - Les Bieler - Washington Post
Reaction pouring in from other 29 teams is mix of eye-rolling at Kidd, out-and-out laughter, shock even among cynics that he'd pull this.— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) June 29, 2014
Will be blown away if Bucks give up 1st for Kidd. Given surplus of 2nds, if they really want him, hold strong on sending worst of those.— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) June 29, 2014
sweet dreams pic.twitter.com/yxTOv8VuL5— Jon Hartzell (@hartzellNBA) June 29, 2014
Jason Kidd going to the Bucks after losing a power struggle in Brooklyn is like the Canal street version of Riley going to the Heat.— netw3rk (@netw3rk) June 29, 2014
I mean, wanting roster control over a the super-capped out Nets is like wanting to drive a shopping cart rolling down a hill.— netw3rk (@netw3rk) June 29, 2014
Kidd doesn't necessarily want Billy King fired, he just wants to have the power to fire him, maybe next week sometime.— netw3rk (@netw3rk) June 29, 2014
Huge week for Milwaukee. We got Jabari tanking workouts for us, Kidd crossing Russians for us, and now @netw3rk is netw3rking about us. BIG.— Frank Madden (@brewhoop) June 29, 2014
A funny thing happened on the way to the Jason Kidd rumors: I met #Bucks GM John Hammond at an I-94 rest stop. http://t.co/3SgkAHSY8a— Howie Magner (@howiemag) June 29, 2014
To suggest this is out of nowhere is not quite so.. #Nets sources have long said Kidd and King not getting along. What's new is Buck angle.— NetsDaily.com (@NetsDaily) June 29, 2014
"Uh, we'll give you Larry Drew?" MT @ESPNSteinLine: Sources: Bucks/Nets have begun discussing potential comp to free Kidd from contract— Frank Madden (@brewhoop) June 29, 2014
Here's the Bucks' last week summarized in a GIF: http://t.co/uN900cAxvK— Frank Madden (@brewhoop) June 29, 2014