The Tangible Value of Jason Kidd

Jason Kidd (wikimedia)

Jason Kidd (wikimedia)

Rick Bucher writes about the enduring value of Jason Kidd:

“His value is in the intangibles now as much as anything,” one Western Conference scouting director says. “He gets guys to play at a higher level. He’s played in the Finals; he’s won gold medals. He was really the guy that set the tone last summer in Beijing.”

I think this is an Andris Biedrins case—a player who is in fact valuable in ways that can be fairly easily quantified, and who’s generally recognized to be valuable, but whose value people insist on making a mystery out of.

Kidd is a well-known triple-double machine because he’s an extraordinary rebounder for a point guard. And even though last year’s 9.9 rebound rate is quite a bit down from the peak of his career, it’s still very good. What’s more, in the past few seasons he’s become an effective three point shooter. Consequently, the .522 TS% he put up last year in Dallas was actually the best of his career. This has partially offset the fact that his assist ratio seems to be on the decline.

The point is that the numbers basically tell the tale you’d expect. Kidd is valuable because he’s still putting up the numbers of a valuable player. He’s also, overall, on the decline at age 36. So any team that signs him will, of course, be worried about further declines in his performance level. He’s also at a point where he probably can’t guard many of the league’s quick point guards, so in some contexts putting him on the floor could create major matchup problems. But I don’t think intangibles have a great deal to do with it.