By David Porter
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The Jason Kidd era is over in New Jersey.
The New Jersey Nets and Dallas on Tuesday completed a trade sending the All-Star to the Mavericks, who now have one of the NBA's best point guards as they look toward the playoffs. This will be Kidd's second stint with Dallas.
The eight-player deal, in the making since before the All-Star break, sends Kidd, forward Malik Allen and guard Antoine Wright to Dallas for point guard Devin Harris, center DeSagana Diop and swingman Maurice Ager, plus retired forward Keith Van Horn and Trenton Hassell. New Jersey also gets two first-round draft picks and $3 million.
Van Horn and Hassell replace Jerry Stackhouse and Devean George in an original trade proposal. Stackhouse's presence in the deal was muddled by plans to get him back to Dallas - within the rules, although in a way the league frowned upon - and George used his veto power to block his involvement.
Trade rumors had followed Kidd since last season when the Nets nearly pulled off a deal to send him to the Los Angeles Lakers. Last month he publicly demanded to be traded, starting a new round of rumors that have hung over the team for the last three weeks.
New Jersey was 23-30 and tied with Philadelphia for the sixth-best record in the Eastern Conference entering Tuesday's games. The Nets have lost 14 of their last 20 games.
Kidd is averaging 11.3 points, 10.3 assists and 8.1 rebounds. Harris, the next most prominent player in the deal, is averaging 14.4 points and 5.3 assists.
Kidd spent the first two-plus seasons of his career in Dallas. The Mavs drafted him third overall in 1994 and he was the NBA's co-rookie of the year in 1994-95. He was traded to Phoenix in 1996, then went from the Suns to New Jersey before the 2001-02 season. He helped the Nets reach the NBA finals his first two seasons, but they haven't made a long playoff run since.
The Mavericks have been among the NBA's top teams the last few years, but have fallen short of a title. They're trading Harris' promising future in hopes that Kidd, who turns 35 next month, has enough tenacity and leadership to push them over the top.
Dallas has been eyeing Kidd for a while, and owner Mark Cuban may have accelerated the process after seeing other top Western Conference teams make pivotal additions.