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Report: Mavericks saving cap space to make run at Deron Williams

Dec 6, 2011, 10:06 AM EDT

NBA London 2011 -  New Jersey Nets v Toronto Raptors Getty Images

Jason Kidd cannot play forever. I know, it already seemed like he has, but the fact is he will eventually need to walk away from the game. His contract is up after this season.

And the Mavericks want Deron Williams to replace him, according to Ken Berger at

That despite the fact Williams said Monday there was a 90 percent chance he remains with the Nets. Dallas is not bringing in big priced free agents — not even Tyson Chandler — because they want to preserve cap space to get D-Will, Berger says.

The Mavs are in no rush to pony up a max offer to retain Chandler, largely because they want to maintain flexibility for next summer’s free-agent class — which just happens to include Dallas’ own Williams, multiple sources told….

But if the Nets are unsuccessful in their efforts to land Dwight HowardBrook Lopez, first-round picks and absorbing Hedo Turkoglu‘s contract doesn’t figure to be enough — then Williams will have an interesting decision to make come July 1. And the buzz among front-office executives Monday was that Dallas owner Mark Cuban would be in a position to sell Williams on taking less money to play in his hometown.

Once Williams becomes a free agent, he could get a five-year, $100 million deal to stay with the Nets. Signing with Dallas would net Williams only a four-year, $74 million deal. How much playing in his hometown is worth to Williams would depend, in part, on what pieces the Nets surround him with between now and then.

As of right now, the Mavericks only have $44 million on the books for next summer as the Kidd and Jason Terry deals expire.

Still, there are a whole lot of “ifs” that have to fall into place for the Mavs to land D-Will.

But it gives you some insight into their thinking, that while this team won a title last year owner Mark Cuban does not want to just ink the entire gang to longer term deals and try to ride this out. He knows he has a veteran team and he wants to be ready to remold it next summer, when the best crop of potential free agents hits the market the league will see for a while.

  1. robertjamis - Dec 6, 2011 at 10:53 AM

    Typical Nets…acquire Deron Williams, get to the brink of respectability with Deron Williams, lose Deron Williams, miss out on best draft lottery in years.

  2. fordman84 - Dec 6, 2011 at 4:45 PM

    He would save a lot of money by not paying Texas income taxes, but not sure it would make up $26mill.

  3. dbldmr - Dec 6, 2011 at 10:20 PM

    4 years and $74 million vs. 5 years and $100 million. That’s $18.5 million per year vs. $20 million per year-not that big a difference.

    • Kurt Helin - Dec 7, 2011 at 1:38 PM

      It is $26 million guaranteed in the event of injury. It’s not nothing.

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