Williamsí decision: seek ring in Dallas or continue in the new Nets
When NBA free agency begins at midnight July 1, Brooklyn Nets star guard Deron Williams will be selecting from a 2-team list that only features the Nets and the Dallas Mavericks, according to sources near to the situation.
Sources expounded that, while this summer’s No. 1 independent agent remains “up in the air” about which team he’ll finally selected, Williams already has decided to narrow his list of potential destinations to those 2 franchises. National lottery
Other teams, including the Phoenix Suns, Trail Blazers and Rockets, had been looking to lodge their own bids for Williams once free agency starts, sources announced. The L.A Lakers, likewise have continued to express interest in a sign-and-trade package built around Pau Gasol for Williams, sources say, despite the Nets’ longstanding insistence that they don’t have any interest in Gasol and would only consider such a move if they were getting back All-Star center Andrew Bynum, whom the Lakers have not provided.
Sources say Williams, actually, already has instructed his representatives to advise any team that calls starting at 12:01 a.m. July 1 that he plans to either re-sign with the Nets or return to his hometown with the Mavericks.
The Nets have expressed confidence all season in their abilities to retain Williams, pointing to the team’s forthcoming move to Brooklyn, increased off-court promoting opportunities for Williams with a team bound for N.Y and the proven fact that Russian multi-millionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov can supply a contract one-year longer than Dallas can worth almost $100 million.
The maximum 4-year offer the Mavericks can counter with approaches $75 million. But sources near to the process say Williams has ruled out each other suitor aside from the 2011 champs due to his respect for Mavs keystones Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd and his faith that owner Mark Cuban would make the follow-up moves important to return Dallas to title contention after a first-round exit in the 2012 playoffs.
During a promotional appearance in Los Angeles earlier this month, Williams made it clear that he’ll choose the team he feels is best positioned to say for a championship swiftest, expressing disappointment that he has tasted little of the playoffs since leading Utah to the Western Conference finals in 2007.
“I want to go to a place where feel like they will have an opportunity to build and build fast,” Williams expounded. “I’m not really in the mood for being a part of a rebuilding process. I’m getting older. I am on the point of being 28-year-old. I want to win. I want to win now. Also, I want to live in a location where I want to live and my kids will like living. That is pretty much it.”
The decision, then, would appear to be riding on which team’s future he rates higher.
The All-Star guard is lined up to join his Team USA teammates in Las Vegas on July 5 for the 1st day of training camp before the London Olympics, but Williams will likely be made to sit out practices till July 11, which is the 1st day new deals can legally be signed this offseason.