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NBA West arms race continues

Unless there's another surprise, it would seem that the pre-playoff personnel jockeying in the NBA's Western Conference is complete now that the Jason Kidd trade has moved the point guard from New Jersey to Dallas.

The Kidd deal was the third recent one that had a Western Conference power bulking up for the playoffs by landing a key player from a league have-not. The first was the L.A. Lakers getting forward Pau Gasol from abysmal Memphis. The blockbuster, of course, was Shaquille O'Neal moving to Phoenix from league-worst Miami. And now we have Kidd winding up back in Dallas, his original team, as part of a house cleaning by still breathing but struggling New Jersey.

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A likely effect of the shuffling of big names is that the NBA playoffs -- or at least the Western Conference portion -- should get a boost in TV ratings from having the additional star names in the mix. It's possible that the Nets will also move Vince Carter but in that case at least, it appears he'll be staying somewhere in the Eastern Conference, if trade rumors are accurate.

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