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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Kidd will stay on with Mavs

DALLAS (AP) Jason Kidd isn't going anywhere.

News photo
Sticking around: Jason Kidd has agreed to a three-year, $25 million contract to remain with the Dallas Mavericks. AP PHOTO

The free agent point guard has agreed to sign a three-year contract for more than $25 million to remain with Dirk Nowitzki and the rest of the Mavericks. The New York Knicks were among Kidd's suitors.

"We are excited that JKidd and the Mavs have reached an agreement to have Jason return to the Mavs," Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said via e-mail Monday. "We look forward to him continuing to take a major role with the team."

With the contract, the 37-year-old Kidd could end his career in Dallas, which is where he started in 1994. The Oakland, Calif., native was the No. 2 overall pick out of California, and he has also played for Phoenix and New Jersey.

Kidd's return helps the Mavericks as they pursue a supporting cast around Nowitzki, from not having to find a replacement to recruiting players. Kidd, who is third on the career assist list, also will continue to mentor J.J. Barea, who emerged as a solid backup last season, and raw rookie Rodrigue Beaubois, who is coming over from France.

The deal — which can't be signed until Wednesday — was first reported by ESPN.com.

The Mavericks also plan to send an offer sheet Wednesday to Marcin Gortat, a 25-year-old center who backed up Dwight Howard in Orlando last season, according to a person with knowledge of negotiations.

Gortat is expected to receive the full midlevel exception of about $5.6 million, which means any more big moves Dallas makes this offseason will come through trades.

The Mavs can dangle the expiring contract of Erick Dampier and the trade-friendly contract of Jerry Stackhouse in front of other teams. Pretty much everyone but Nowitzki could be dealt, too, as the Mavericks explore ways to keep up with the changes made by top rivals in the Western Conference, especially the defending champion Lakers and division foe San Antonio.

Wade speaks out

MIAMI (AP) Dwyane Wade will remain in Miami on one condition. He wants the Heat to become a championship contender again, the quicker the better.

Otherwise, he might need moving trucks next summer.

The reigning NBA scoring champion, who can opt out of his Heat contract after the 2009-10 season, said Monday that simply getting to the playoffs "is not enough" to satisfy him anymore, and that his long-term commitment to Miami hinges entirely on the franchise getting back into the mix for the title trophy he hoisted just three years ago.

"I'm going to listen. I owe the Miami Heat that much. I'm going to listen to what they have to say and I'm going to think about it," Wade said. "But right now, the way I feel, I want to make sure that we're on track to where I want us to be on track to before I sign back."

Wade made clear that he would like to stay with the Heat, reiterating something he's said countless times in recent months. There's no acrimony between the 2006 NBA finals MVP and Heat president Pat Riley either, and Wade said that the jump Miami made this past season — from 15 wins and the league's worst record in 2007-08, to 43 wins and the No. 5 seed in the East in 2008-09 — was thrilling.

"I'm good with that," Wade said, "for one year."

Another season around .500, though, won't be as enticing.

"That's not enough for me," said Wade, who set career-bests last season in scoring average (30.2 per game), 3-point goals, steals, blocks and games played.

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