DALLAS --- Devean George won three rings playing alongside Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant. He joined the Dallas Mavericks before last season thinking he might add to his collection playing alongside Dirk Nowitzki.
Now the Mavs have a chance to get Jason Kidd, too. George might be pretty excited -- if he wasn't among the players being offered for the star.
But George doesn't want to go, and he doesn't have to because of a virtual no-trade clause known as "early Bird rights."
"I've got to do what's best for me," George said late Wednesday, after going 0-for-11 with zero points in 33 minutes of Dallas' 96-76 victory over Portland. "My agent wants me to wait until he can talk to me and explain what the risks are ... instead of just jumping the gun."
Whether this is a setback or a deal-breaker will be determined in the coming days.
The deal was supposed to be George, emerging point guard Devin Harris, veteran Jerry Stackhouse and reserves DeSagana Diop and Maurice Ager going to New Jersey and Kidd, Malik Allen and Antoine Wright going to Dallas.
George's "early Bird rights," which come from being on his second one-year deal, mainly give him a chance to sign his next contract for more than the salary cap allows. However, he's unlikely to command that much anyway. Another benefit is the veto power that's also part of those rights, as per the NBA's collective bargaining agreement.
Thus, while Kidd is the centerpiece of the deal, George is the linchpin.
Nets coach Lawrence Frank talked about life without his All-Star point guard prior to his team's 109-91 loss in Toronto on Wednesday.
"I love him. He's a very special person, but it's time for both him and the organization to part ways," Frank said.
A move for Kidd is an indication the Mavs are in a win-now mode. He is 10 years older than the 24-year-old Harris. Dallas has been close in recent years, losing in the NBA finals in 2006, then winning 67 games last season before flaming out in the first round.
"He would bring great leadership," Mavericks guard Jason Terry said. "He's a Hall of Fame point guard who knows how to win and how to lead. He's played in the Finals. He's a guy we could learn from. If it happens, it would be great for the organization."