As momentum for a blockbuster three-team trade centering on Jason Kidd slowed down on Thursday, the New Jersey Nets are close to finalizing an agreement to trade Jason Collins to the Memphis Grizzlies for Stromile Swift, a league source said Thursday night.
“I think everyone is getting cold feet,” one league source with knowledge of the negotiations among New Jersey, Dallas and Portland said. “Dallas doesn’t want to part with (Devin) Harris, and (Nets president) Rod (Thorn) doesn’t think that (Travis) Outlaw is enough as a centerpiece to give up a franchise player in Kidd.”
The Nets, Mavericks and Trail Blazers have been engaged in discussions for a multi-player trade that would land Kidd, the nine-time All-Star, back in Dallas where his NBA career started in 1994. The Mavericks would send point guard Devin Harris, 24, to the Blazers, and Jerry Stackhouse and either Devean George or DeSagna Diop to the Nets. Travis Outlaw, Jarrett Jack and Channing Frye, along with a No. 1 pick, would go to New Jersey. As many as a dozen players could change teams.
Sources expect the conversations between New Jersey and Dallas to continue until the Feb. 21 trade deadline, whether Portland is the third team involved or as others become involved.
Thorn also has been active trying to change the complete face of his spiraling franchise. Swift, a 6-foot-9 forward, is on the outs with Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni, whom he showed up on the bench Monday night in a loss to the Mavericks. The Grizzlies suspended Swift, 28, for Wednesday’s game and would rather trade him than let him return to their young, impressionable locker room.
Collins, 29, is a banger with little athleticism or offensive ability but has a resolve to defend and rebound.
The Nets are determined to honor Kidd’s trade wishes and end his days in New Jersey, but that could take until the trade deadline.
As one rival Eastern Conference GM said Thursday, “I could see Rod passing on the (three-way) deal. It wasn’t a great deal for his organization and you can’t make a mistake with an asset that big.
“If I’m Rod, I’m not taking the first deal down the pike. I’m waiting and letting every deal flush out before I pull the trigger.”