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Report: Deron Williams will only choose between Dallas and Brooklyn

Jun 24, 2012, 9:13 AM EDT

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They are the obvious choices, and now, it would appear, they are the only choices.

ESPN’s Marc Stein reports:

When NBA free agency begins at midnight July 1, Brooklyn Nets star guard Deron Williams will be choosing from a two-team list that only features the Nets and the Dallas Mavericks, according to sources close to the situation.

Sources told ESPN.com on Saturday night that, while this summer’s No. 1 free agent remains “up in the air” about which team he’ll ultimately chose, Williams already has made the decision to narrow his list of potential destinations to those two franchises.

via Deron Williams only interested in signing with Brooklyn Nets or Dallas Mavericks, sources say – ESPN New York.

This has seemingly been the case for a while, but having it confirmed by a source so close to the Mavericks in Stein is significant. Typically a lot of action in terms of both free agency and trades is held up for the biggest move. Teams want to make sure they’re out of the running for a star before making moves for the future. Knowing that it will definitely be one of those two teams makes life easier for the other franchises, of which Stein lists the Blazers, Rockets, Suns, and Lakers as interested parties.

The smart money’s on New Jersey. Which, you know, isn’t that smart at all.

The Nets can offer the most money and years by re-signing Williams under the new CBA, and their move to Brooklyn means more financial opportunities for the All-Star. Stein also reports Williams was scouting a locker at the new Barclay Center on a tour this week. There is every reason to believe that Williams will re-sign with the Nets and make Brooklyn his home, sending Dallas in a drastic new direction for the future.

Some helpful information about the Nets team Williams is so sure of:

  • They went 22-44 last year, but that’s OK, because it’s an improvement on the 24-58 record they had the year before. I mean, not much of one, but still!
  • Their next best player at the moment is a center with a severe foot injury that limited him all last season and has significant rebounding problems.
  • Their next best player would be Gerald Wallace, but he’s opting out into free agency. But that’s OK, because there’s a good chance he’ll re-sign. At age 30.
  • They only have six players on roster for next year (assuming they re-sign Lopez in restricted free agency for eight figures), but that’s OK, because one of them is Johan Petro for $3.5 million.
  • Their front office has swung out in the past two years in luring LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Amar’e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwight Howard to their team, but that’s OK, because they traded their first-rounder to bring in Gerald Wallace who’s now a free agent last year.

Look, I’m not throwing this stuff out there to bag on the Nets. I want the Nets to be good. It’s good for the league. A New York-Brooklyn rivalry featuring multiple stars would be great for the league. Prokhorov being in the limelight would be hilariously good for the league. But Williams has stated he wants to contend. So why is this team even an option?

I know, I know. Dwight Howard. The plan, apparently, is for the Nets to sign Williams, then sign a bunch of free agents that Orlando wants, then trade those pieces plus Lopez who the Magic are “eh” about in order to get Howard. And that could happen. But is that going to be enough? Do they have anything resembling a supporting cast? Even if Wallace re-signs, is that enough? Is Williams, Howard, Wallace, and a poor supporting cast going to be better than what the Knicks have, let alone Miami?

But that’s where Williams’ mind is at. Dallas represents challenges, too, but it also features Dirk Nowitzki and an owner and management team with a proven track record that won the title a year ago.

Either way, there isn’t a perfect choice. At least Williams can limit that choice down to those two teams, though.

  1. daniel10017 - Jun 24, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    He’s going to Dallas. Don’t kid yourselves. There will be lots of empty seats at the Brooklyn arena unless they sell tickets for $5.

    • knightrider1755 - Jun 24, 2012 at 4:07 PM

      Don’t underestimate Brooklynites!. They support their own to the tee. From what I am hearing and seeing, they are going all out for the Nets. Especially the younger generation who know nothing about the Knicks except that the Knicks never seem to win. Most of the younger Nets fans remember Jason Kidd, Vince Carter and Kenyon Martin from a time when the Knicks were not so good. It is to be noted that the Knicks have not appeared in the Finals this century wherein the Nets have appeared in back-to-back Finals.

  2. blueintown - Jun 24, 2012 at 10:21 AM

    He’ll $tay with the Brooklyn Net$$$. I’ll give you three gue$$e$ why.

    • knightrider1755 - Jun 24, 2012 at 3:36 PM

      Go Brooklyn!

  3. bandanamac - Jun 24, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    I could name all the places “sources close” to Lebron “reported” to ESPN he was “leaning toward” two years ago but that would defeat the All Hail purpose of the Worlwide Leader’s aura.

  4. raidmagic - Jun 24, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    Anytime you hear “I just want to win” know that means where can I make the most money.

  5. cantonbound13 - Jun 24, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    Funny how Dwight Howard’s main choices are Brooklyn or Dallas.

  6. rotaylla - Jun 24, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    We want him back with the team but, if he decides to go somewhere else the team would move on l know he wants to win but he has an opportunity to get maximum signing and more years but don’t make a hasty decision.. Just the right decision that favor you and your family…which ever it goes we @BrooklynNetsbasketball wish you well…

  7. camnellum12 - Jun 24, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    Everybody and they momma knew this….and did you mention that Jason Kidd will follow him to either destination? Mark Cuban better sell the hell outta the Mavericks, because Brooklyn has the more leverage with potentially getting Howard.

  8. lakerluver - Jun 24, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    Dirk, Marion, and D. Will is a much more formidable team than D. Will, Dwight Howard, and a bunch of scrubs.

    • knightrider1755 - Jun 24, 2012 at 3:35 PM

      After Dirk, Marion and Dwill everyone else on the Mavs team is a scrub.

  9. boilerup1869 - Jun 24, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    I hope he ends up on a bottom-feeder team wherever he goes. I have zero respect for coach-killers and selfish me-first players.

    “I’ll only play in Brooklyn or Dallas.” GTFO of here you whiny, spoiled little brat. I hope you end up being signed-and-traded to the Bobcats so you can toil away in mediocrity. Maybe Dwight can join you there too because misery loves company.

  10. cantonbound13 - Jun 24, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    Translation: I want to stay in Brooklyn because that’s where I will get the most money but I want to play with a star like Dwight Howard.

  11. icewinna0 - Jun 24, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    If he wants to win and be on a contender he’ll choose Dallas. But pretty sure Nets will offer him too much money to refuse.

    • knightrider1755 - Jun 24, 2012 at 3:33 PM

      OKC is geared up to knock the Mavs out of contention for the next 10 years. By that time Dirk will be 100 years old.

  12. wlubake - Jun 24, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    The Mavericks will do something before July 1 to make picking New Jersey very difficult. I see them bringing in someone like Deng/Noah/Iggy or some other high caliber talent to give a stronger supporting cast. If they do that, and Williams chooses Lopez and Wallace over Dirk and say Deng, there won’t be any way to defend that decision as wanting to win.

  13. scalfor3 - Jun 24, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    d will and howard together guarantees playoffs, but i dont think it comes close to championship contention without other pieces. knicks are finding out the hard way that putting two all stars together doesnt necessarily equal success

  14. eflem80 - Jun 24, 2012 at 5:58 PM

    The Mavs will pull of a trade that will land Howard…probably a three team trade that will land Orlando a high draft pick. This will be the bait for D. Will…..

  15. eflem80 - Jun 24, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    @ knight rider, the Nets are gonna be nothing but the east coast version the the Clippers. They will NEVER over take the Knicks. This “younger generation” you speak of aren’t the ones buying seats in the arenas, buying the jerseys, ect….their kids. Grown ups…still know what the Knicks are. The Garden wont fall second place to something called the Barclays center homie. Like the Clips last season….they’ll get some hype….but at the end of the day….it’s about the team that plays in the greatest arena on earth.

    • knightrider1755 - Jun 24, 2012 at 9:18 PM

      @eflem80. You mean the team that plays in the greatest arena on earth that hasn’t won a championship in 40 years? The Garden may be great but the team that plays there is lousy.

  16. isujames - Jun 24, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    Neither one of those crappy teams will be winning anything for a while and he won’t like the city Dallas/team/owner.

  17. trevormcnamara - Jun 24, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    Brooklyn because they have a better chance for howard, have good young players in brooks, lopez, morrow, farmar, and green, will get him more endorsments, and have a brand new arena.

  18. isujames - Jun 24, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    @ scal??? WTF are u talking about, almost all good teams/playoff teams have atleast two allstars, and for the most part it always have been like that.

  19. eflem80 - Jun 25, 2012 at 7:43 AM

    @ knightrider….that’s exactly my point. 40 years…no championship yet the Knicks have never fell off the map. The nets went to the finals two years in a row & had one of the most exciting teams in the league at that time yet these Knicks are getting waaaaaaay more attention than those nets did. Its more than just wins & losses here. The Knicks are a part of the NY culture. No matter how bad they’ve been, attendance never slipped. It’s the Knicks. And next season, whether people want to admit it or not, the Knicks are actually gonna be good. With all the crap they went through last season (injury, coaching change, roster changes, ect) they still managed a 6th seed & actually won a game against the eventual champions. Not you gonna give that team a full training camp, solid coach, & health? They can very easily Finnish top three in the east….more bad news for the nets.

    • knightrider1755 - Jun 25, 2012 at 10:52 AM

      As Howard Stern would say “you’re wrong on so many levels”. So much so, that I wouldn’t no where to start to dissect the nonsense. I will agree that the Knicks are getting a lot of attention and that is primarily because they brought in Melo, Amare and Tyson. Kidd never had that type of supporting cast when he was with the Nets. Allthough, even with them the Knicks have yet to succeed. I do hope for your sake, however, that next season around this time you are not back on this blog stating the same things you are now.

  20. eflem80 - Jun 25, 2012 at 7:44 AM

    Correction , 7th seed ;-)

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