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Report: Mavericks fear Deron Williams leaning toward Nets

Jun 26, 2012, 11:19 PM EDT

New Jersey Nets v Atlanta Hawks Getty Images

Mark Cuban and the Mavericks gambled — with the new luxury tax provisions looming they knew they needed to strip down their salary in the next couple years or pay a steep price. They had a window last year to do that, so unlike what most owners would have done, Cuband didn’t get the band back together to chase another ring.

But part of the plan was always to lure Deron Williams back home to pair with Dirk Nowitzki and quickly return the Dallas to the league’s elite.

Dallas may lose its bet. Mavericks officials are getting the feeling D-Will is staying in Brooklyn, reports Ken Berger at

Four rival executives and a fifth person familiar with Williams’ thinking told Tuesday that the Mavericks are becoming increasingly worried that the All-Star point guard will stay with the Nets when the free-agent floodgates open Sunday.

While optimists in the Mavs’ camp are holding out hope that they still have a “50-50” chance of landing Williams, who grew up in Dallas, executives working the phones Tuesday have detected a real concern from the Mavs that Williams will opt to join the Nets in Brooklyn next season.

There has been a lot of mixed buzz and reports on what Williams is thinking in recent weeks. As Berger himself noted, someone in the sneaker industry told him Williams preferred to be in Dallas. My guess — he hasn’t made a decision yet.

Dallas is going to have to sway him that money isn’t everything — Brooklyn has D-Will’s Bird rights and can offer one more year and larger raises than Dallas, which means about $26 million more guaranteed. That’s a lot of money. A whole lot. It matters more than birthday signs.

The only thing we know for sure is that Williams wants to make a quick decision — he wants everything wrapped up before he starts Team USA Olympic training camp in Las Vegas July 6.

  1. bhester1906 - Jun 26, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    I’d stay. No disrespect but he’s not getting a ring anytime soon with either team. Rake in your 126 mil and then join a contender like everyone else is doing….

  2. jjordannba - Jun 27, 2012 at 12:14 AM

    I would rather play for my hometown, while competing in the playoffs with an elite team than stay with a team you know is holding you back as an after thought and not competing for anything in the east where there are about 12 teams better knowing i’m approaching my 30’s and a chance to be a key cog of a championship only presents itself for so long.

    • sk1llz187 - Jun 27, 2012 at 12:22 AM

      Dallas gonna need D WILLZ to compete with OKC next year!!

    • therealhtj - Jun 27, 2012 at 8:34 AM

      Unless your hometown is one of the premiere cities in the world, why would you? I mean seriously, you’re young, rich, and can live anywhere you want, and you’d choose Dallas over New York City? Or Los Angeles? Or Miami?

      DWill’s choices have been obvious from the get go, but delusional Dallas fans refused to see it. Neither he nor any true franchise cornerstone is signing his 2nd big extension in a non-premiere market. Ever. It just ain’t happening. You can either draft your superstar, only in most cases to watch him leave after his first big contract extension or you can be satisfied getting the leftover free agents that you have to overpay to bring in. Something like a damaged David West in Indiana. Then you can watch other stars try and force a sign and trade to the city of their choice. You’ll see that unfold when Dwight finally calls Orlando’s bluff and says and they trade him to Brooklyn too.

      • deadeyedesign23 - Jun 27, 2012 at 8:45 AM


      • jolink653 - Jun 27, 2012 at 10:16 AM

        except your whole theory goes out the window when you look at OKC…durant and westbrook could have waited out their rookie deals and gone to any team in the league but they re-upped with OKC in probably one of the worst sports markets in the country…not disagreeing entirely with what you said because you are right and i do think deron would pick the nets in brooklyn over the dallas market but it doesn’t apply to everyone

      • ccshocktalk - Jun 27, 2012 at 11:10 AM

        The squad in place with Dirk plus D-Will would not be a contender because they still have to beat San Antonio, and LA, and they have to contend with Memphis, and don’t forget they have to play that small market team with those crazy kids in OKC. D-Will is solid but he’s not going to make that team beat all of those teams then beat the best from the east for a ring.

        He also wont make New Jersey a contender with the addition of Douche Howard either. What they’ll need to do is concede some of that money that he or Dipsh!t are given and try to get some other key role players to come play with them. Whether it’s spot up shooters, or solid defenders…it takes more than two to tango their way to a championship unless your team is loaded with role players that know, understand and play their role.

        he really has two choices, go play at home for less money and win more ball games, or stay in NY collect fat pay checks and win fewer games…

      • deadeyedesign23 - Jun 27, 2012 at 1:46 PM

        Nobody leaves after their rookie deal. The league has made it that if you have any talent you are almost certain to be stuck with the city that drafted you for 7 years. I have absolutely no doubt they all test free agency when the time comes.

      • therealhtj - Jun 27, 2012 at 3:12 PM

        jolink – I said they take their first big payday coming off their rookie deal, then either force a trade to the market of their choice or sign as a FA. I doubt we see Westbrook sticking in OKC through his entire contract.

  3. lakerluver - Jun 27, 2012 at 12:43 AM

    It’s pretty obvious that D. Will and D. Howard are both going to end up in Brooklyn. Howard will probably have to play in Houston or somewhere else for next season, but he will not sign an extension and will be a Net in a year. Now the question is can Brooklyn put the right roles players around the two superstars? And, if they can, will it be enough to beat the Heat? I still think D. Howard would be better off in Chicago.

  4. mcjon22 - Jun 27, 2012 at 1:01 AM

    And in other news, D-Will is a moron. But seriously, if he signs before D Howard is actually a NET and signed a contract, he’s stupid. Howard is a head case who changes his mind 20 times a day. No way you count on that guy to actually sign there next as a FA. Big time risk by D-WIll

  5. storebrandcookies - Jun 27, 2012 at 2:01 AM

    Deron Williams is going to make or break Dallas’ future. Dirk isn’t getting any younger and he needs that scoring help if they want to contend for the next few years.

  6. 00maltliquor - Jun 27, 2012 at 2:49 AM

    Imma tell you this, his decision will NOT be made by July 6th. He’s only going to stay if Howard goes to BK, if not he’s gonna want to go home and play for an owner who is known to pay up and get the right pieces to make it happen.

    If I were D Will I wouldn’t stay, that GM over there gots shit for brains and makes Otis Smith look like Sam Presti.

    • Kurt Helin - Jun 27, 2012 at 11:07 AM

      Williams has said he will make a decision by them.

      • 00maltliquor - Jun 27, 2012 at 2:05 PM

        Okay man, we will shall see. We’ll talk July 6th…

  7. knightrider1755 - Jun 27, 2012 at 5:28 AM

    Dwill will stay in Brooklyn. That decision was decided a long time ago. This grandstanding maneuver prompting speculation on the part of fans and the media was contrived. It keeps the Nets in the news and paves the way for excitement and great expectations in the Barclay Arena next season. Dwight Howard is not far behind.

  8. borderline1988 - Jun 27, 2012 at 7:22 AM

    He’s probably staying in Brooklyn.
    $26 million is huge money…plus the fact that endorsement deals are probably better in New York than Dallas. I doubt he walks away from $26 million.

    Dallas is not very good anymore anyways…their rotation players are all really old (how long is Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion and Vince Carter going to last?). Jason Terry is likely on his way out. That leaves Nowitzki, who’s terrific, but definitely not enough (and he’s getting older himself..had a relatively bad season last year).
    They’ll likely make the playoffs with Deron Williams, but no way they make it past the 1rst round. And in 2 or 3 years, the team will be out of the playoffs and looking to re-build.

    The Nets move for Gerald Wallace was incredibly stupid, but there is still a decent chance they land Howard, especially if Williams signs, which will make them instant contenders in the East.
    Signing with either team is a gamble, but one of those gambles offers $26 million more…

    • pglive21 - Jun 27, 2012 at 10:46 AM

      He wouldn’t be walking away from $26 million. That’s just a numerical myth propagated by media. The difference between what he would make if he signed with the Nets vs. another team over the same number of years is only about $7.5 million. Not nearly as significant for a guy whose career earnings will surpass $100 million less than halfway through his next contract. Zach Lowe details this nicely at

      • Kurt Helin - Jun 27, 2012 at 11:06 AM

        This is correct, but as my article the difference is in GUARANTEED money. The Nets can offer one extra year locked in, so in event of injury or whatever that is money he will receive. And don’t underestimate how much that matters to players, regardless of how much they make.

      • knightrider1755 - Jun 27, 2012 at 11:41 AM

        Yeah but the endorsements are what are crucial in all of this. He can make a lot more in endorsements in the NY area than in Dallas. I don’t think Deron Does Dallas unless big endorsements aren’t a concern and he is fine with pitching cowboy hats and boots for the local Dallas merchants,

      • pglive21 - Jun 27, 2012 at 11:58 AM

        Yea that’s true Kurt, is $26 million more guaranteed. Very important distinction and I don’t doubt that that’s very important to NBA players. The flipside however, is that the end of that contract puts him almost past his prime for point guard and he has a greater chance of another max contract the closer he is to the prime of his career (one year younger in the case of signing with Dallas or somewhere else).

        The endorsement opportunities I suppose would be different in Dallas vs. Brooklyn, but I can’t really see the market making that much of a difference in national campaigns. I haven’t seen any definitive data or anything more substantive than estimates that would indicate that he could make so much more in endorsements in New York compared to Dallas.

  9. 700levelvet - Jun 27, 2012 at 9:38 AM

    The fact of the matter is this…….NBA Players, the superstars, are all a bunch of women, all they want to do is hook up with another same caliber player, and draw attention to themselves, no balling, just a bunch of prime donnas, who act as if because their twitter account has so many followers, they should be able to hook up with whomever to win a ring……..It’s a joke……It worked out well for Melo, and Amare in NY huh?……..Oh wait……that was the coaches fault, and i miss old school players like Ice Gervin, Dominque Wilkins, who knew they were on an inferior team, but damn, they were men and they did their best to kick you’re ass……..The NBA is reality show now…….It’s a joke

  10. joecain21 - Jun 27, 2012 at 9:42 AM

    how is Dallas not a premiere team when they’re constantly in the playoffs?

  11. eddiecrash1976 - Jun 27, 2012 at 12:44 PM


    You’re an idiot. Lol

  12. fanz928 - Jun 27, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    He and Dwight will be enough for contention deep into playoffs

  13. rotaylla - Jun 27, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    Unless he wants to be marketing leather hats and cowboys boots for some merchants in downtown Dallas..wao,wao, wao that was a funny one rider!! However every ball player is looking for maximum contracts and security after thier rookie ends and deron Williams is no exception. l believe endorsement opportunities in Brooklyn far outweigh Dallas or any of its any borough..Go Dwill make the right decision for your family…good luck buddy.

  14. sandy102270 - Jun 28, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    $26M is a lot to walk away from, but it isn’t really $26M after the city and state take their chunk of it. Texas has no state tax, so he’d probably break close to even in take home in Dallas over the life of the contract, even with one less year in Dallas.

    And the endorsements in Brooklyn are probably no better than he could get in Dallas, and definitely not what he would get if he played for the Knicks, so that probably shouldn’t be a factor in his decision either.

    DWill might stay with the Nets, but let’s not go crazy believing that the money would be so much more in Brooklyn than Dallas that this should be a no-brainer.

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