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‘Extremely remote’ odds for Kidd deal

Times Staff Writer

For days, the rumor mill has been heating up with talk of the Lakers and New Jersey Nets point guard Jason Kidd.

On Tuesday, however, a source with knowledge of the situation said it was “extremely remote” that a trade would take place between the Lakers and Nets.

Kidd is a particular favorite of Nets owner Bruce Ratner and would not be traded unless he went to Ratner and asked to be moved -- an unlikely scenario, said a source familiar with Kidd’s thinking.

Kidd, who will be 34 next month, makes $18 million this season and $41 million over the next two seasons, a hefty investment. Another consideration: If the Lakers acquire him, they probably will have to pay luxury taxes the next two seasons. They have not paid the luxury tax since the 2004-05 season.

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More than a month ago, the Nets made a round of phone calls during a losing streak to see if teams would be interested in some of their players, a source said. The Lakers, like many teams, wanted to talk about Kidd.

A source said the Lakers were unwilling to part with three players -- Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum, which could also be a deal-killer.

Center Chris Mihm, who will be a free agent after the season, and center Kwame Brown, who has one season left on his contract, were believed to be two of the players mentioned in discussions. Rookie point guard Jordan Farmar has not been mentioned in talks.

Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak declined to comment about Kidd, as is his custom regarding players on other teams.

Kupchak recently said he wouldn’t “tinker with the team” by adding a player that didn’t know the triangle offense, but said he would continue working the phones to find ways to improve the team.

Kidd is vaguely familiar with the triangle offense, having run it under current Lakers assistant Jim Cleamons when he was with the Dallas Mavericks for the beginning of the 1996-97 season.

The trade deadline is Feb. 22. The Lakers haven’t made a deadline deal since acquiring Glen Rice from Charlotte in 1999.

The Nets, for their part, are still a contender in the weak Atlantic Division and haven’t officially decided if they should break up their team. Previous rounds of calls have been mainly to test the water.

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Kidd is averaging 14.3 points, 8.7 assists and eight rebounds a game this season. He is averaging 36.6 minutes and shooting 43.2%, better than his career average of 40.4%.

Kidd had played every game this season before experiencing back pain that sidelined him this week.

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mike.bresnahan@latimes.com

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