A story appeared on Yahoo! sports Wednesday noting that Jason Kidd and LeBron James had reportedly sent text messages to each other about how great it would be to hook up together in Cleveland.
In Cleveland, where the Cavs have been mired in a colossal slump without the services of LeBron due to a finger sprain, that is a headline surpassed only by "PEARL HARBOR BOMBED."
In a matter of minutes, the rumor mill turned into a buzzing bees' nest and the mantra of Cavs fans everywhere became, "Danny Ferry, get it done NOW!"
Imagine the starting lineup the Cavs would be able to trot out each night:
PG: Jason Kidd
SG: Some Guy
SF: LeBron James
PF: Some Guy
C: Some Guy
Wouldn't that be fantastic?
You bet it would. Kidd is just what the doctor ordered for the Cavs at both ends of the floor. A pass-first point guard with the size to play physical and body up on bigger defenders. He's also an elite defender and rebounder -- maybe the best rebounding guard in the league.
Trades involving players like Jason Kidd just don't happen that often. They're too valuable to their teams, and those teams have to make sure they get richly-compensated if they trade the player.
Which is why, if I was a betting man, I'd say any Cavs fan who is pinning all hope for a championship on Ferry's ability to trade for Kidd is set up for more disappointment and bitterness than necessary. Already, Kidd is trying to stomp out the brush fires caused by media speculation.
It's probably not going to happen. Kidd's $19 million salary this year and $21 million salary next year are only part of the reason why. Here are a few other reasons:
1. Unless Kidd majorly forces his hand, there is no way Nets GM Rod Thorn will trade him.
Kidd, as with any elite point guard, is the engine who makes his team run. If the Nets deal him, they're basically telling their players, "we're heading into a rebuilding phase." Chances are, that wouldn't go over so well with the team's other two stars, Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson. The last time Carter was faced with a rebuilding project in Toronto, he admittedly quit on his team, leading to his eventual trade to New Jersey.
In other words, any way you slice it, trading Kidd would be a public relations disaster for the Nets, both with their fans and their own players. They probably can't afford that several years before moving into a new arena.
2. The Cavs have few players that the Nets need.
Start by putting Drew Gooden on the table at about $6.4 million this year. Gooden would have to be included in any trade for Kidd because the Nets need size and skill in the frontcourt. A woeful rebounding deficiency led to their loss to the Cavs in last year's conference semifinals.
But Gooden would only be a starting point since the money in NBA trades have to match within 15 percent per the collective bargaining agreement. So the Cavs would have to dump several less-desirable bench players like currently-injured Donyell Marshall ($5.5 million), Damon Jones ($4.1 million) or Ira Newble ($3.4 million) on New Jersey, or try to round out the deal with the brittle and also currently-injured Larry Hughes ($12 million).
Chances are, with Carter and Jefferson already in the fold and providing more-than-adequate wing scoring, the Nets wouldn't have much of a need for Hughes. That means in order to dump Hughes in a Kidd trade, a third team would probably have to get involved, opening up a whole new set of negotiations.
Did I mention that if you trade Gooden, you need to find another starting power forward? It's not going to be Anderson Varejao, who is an unknown quantity after a six-month hiatus from NBA basketball.
3. We're worked up into a frenzy over text messages?
Maybe, just maybe, LeBron and Kidd were having some fun with each other. Sure, they'd love to play together, and maybe even with the Cavs, but let's not read into this more than it's worth.
A message like "r u cmg 2 clevld jason" is not a blockbuster deal in the works. It's the grammatically-incorrect bantering of two guys who became friends over the summer. Maybe at some point Kidd and LeBron end up together with the Cavs, but the guys pulling the strings are Thorn and Ferry, not Kidd and LeBron. To believe anything else is to believe unfounded gossip, no matter how much you'd like to believe that star players are really the ones pulling the strings behind the scenes.
It makes for fun conversation around the water cooler. But the percentage of it that's rooted in reality is probably far less than Cavs fans would like to admit.