All the reports that I have seen have included Nene, Eduardo Najera, and J.R. Smith (at least) in a potential deal and Nene and Najera both have decent size contacts that would offset some of the price of Kidd.
Right now, I think the real question that needs an answer is what is Stan Kroenke’s primary focus with this team because the Nuggets still have the third highest payroll in the league and are still not in the NBA’s elite company. If Kroenke’s primary focus is revenue, then a deal for Kidd would not lead him to immediate financial gain because the Pepsi Center is close to, or is, all but sold out most nights. Filling the Pepsi Center to capacity and selling Jason Kidd merchandise is not going to make up a ten million dollar increase in team payroll alone.
But, if Kroenke is dead set on bringing a championship to this city then that’s a whole different story.
He would indubitably make more than enough in the next couple of years to justify the payroll, especially with a championship (or maybe two), and a move this big is exactly what it would take to make the Nuggets a legitimate contender. Move the aforementioned three, and potentially a draft pick, for Jason Kidd and the Nuggets can be arguably starting the best five of any team in the league. Furthermore, we will have landed the “true” point guard that this team has been lacking for years, while not making the already thin frontline much thinner.
There’s a little joke around Nuggets circles that says, “Everybody knows Eduardo Najera is only six-five” and Steven Hunter could probably fill the void where Eduardo’s impact was felt on the boards (remember he started for a ton of games last year with Philadelphia). In addition, Jason Kidd’s headiness would more than make up for Eduardo’s hustle. Sure, the trading of Nene right now would be cold blooded, but this is a business and Nene is, most likely, going to make a full recovery and Denver still has Von Wafer collecting dust on the end of the bench. J.R. Smith would be a loss because I really do think that he is going to finally get “it” and blossom into a great pro, but the Nuggets timetable is a little bit shorter than J.R.’s case might need.
So, is it going to happen? Probably not. Could it happen? Absolutely, and Stan Kroenke’s true intent with this team is going to be shown crystal clear by the February 21st trade deadline. If he is OK shelling out the kind of dough he is for a team that is maybe a second round surprise in the playoffs, then so be it. But if he is truly dead set on owning a winner, something has to be done and Kidd would certainly be making a huge statement.