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Deron Williams to stay with Nets, lead them into Brooklyn

Jul 3, 2012, 7:46 PM EDT

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No. Sleep. ‘Till Brooklyn. For Deron Williams.

The most coveted free agent of this summer tweeted out late Tuesday that he had made a very tough decision — with a picture of the Brooklyn Nets new logo attached to the tweet.

The two sides agreed to a five-year, $98 million deal (he cannot actually sign it until July 11). He will make $17.2 million next season and get $1.3 million annual raises through the five years. Williams said he wanted to make a quick decision before USA Basketball opens its Olympic training camp in Vegas Friday and he did just that.

This is a huge win for the Nets. Huge. The gamble they made more than a year ago to trade for him, pulling him out of Utah with no guarantees (sending Derrick Favors and more west) has paid off. The Nets needed a true star to lead them into the brand new Barclay Center in the nation’s largest market, they needed to be able to compete with the established Knicks. At least on the court, they can hold their own now. With Williams, Joe Johnson (who they just traded for) and Gerald Wallace they will have a respectable team.

If they add Dwight Howard they would move from respectable to contender. But we’re not there yet.

Even if the Nets simply retain Brook Lopez and MarShon Brooks and do not make any other big moves they will be a high scoring, entertaining team. A playoff team. The kind of squad that people will pay to see.

D-Will chose Brooklyn over his home town of Dallas and the Mavericks, which now will resort to Plan B — most likely a hard run at Dwight Howard, but that involves making a difficult trade with the Magic. If not Howard then they likely go after Steve Nash to  reunite him with Dirk Nowitzki. Which is a big let down, Mark Cuban scaled his payroll back to adapt to the new financial rules of the NBA, make a run at William and contend again quickly. It may take longer than anticipated.

Mavericks officials had thought Williams was leaning toward Brooklyn but were trying to hold out hope. However, Williams has said he enjoys living in the New York area and already picked up some key endorsements, such as a Red Bull deal.

He may get more now. He is the face of Brooklyn’s new professional sports franchise. In a hoop-crazy city.

  1. jhalion - Jul 3, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    Not too surprised… as you guys mentioned on the boards earlier he was a man after money and in this case he’s going with the big bucks.

    • willardj - Jul 3, 2012 at 8:54 PM

      I disagree. If the Nets manage to land Howard, then Williams made the decision to go to a better team not just for the money. D-Will also had no loyalty at all to the Mavs, he’s never played there. Whereas, he had loyalty to the Nets organization.

    • jimeejohnson - Jul 3, 2012 at 9:41 PM

      At least he’s an American taking money from a Russian zillionaire! The taxes that Russian indirectly contributes to America makes up for the fact that cannabis is still untaxed.

      • edweird0 - Jul 3, 2012 at 10:58 PM

        Nothing short of cannabis being taxed will make up for the fact that it’s still untaxed.

    • Caffeinated Viking - Jul 3, 2012 at 10:17 PM

      I don’t know about you guys, but in my state they are laying off a lot of teachers and firefighters. This is why pro-sports are suck, someone’s good at one thing: throwing a specific kind of ball around, running back-and-forth and doing a couple circus tricks and they make this kind of money, and its the only thing most of them care about.
      The people attending the games argue everything under the sun for the players worth, but wouldn’t they be worth more if the teams kept players around that actually grew up in the specific state or city? So they pay tons to import “talent,”…. what does that say about the “local” talent?

      Having a good a team that wins a lot around is NOT bragging right, it’s just having a lot of people (dense)ly around.

  2. gmen4life33 - Jul 3, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    Great for NY basketball. Knicks and Nets playoff teams? RIVALRY….

    And you think Cuban is second guessing breaking apart a championship team for “financial flexibility” yet?

    • kinggw - Jul 3, 2012 at 9:08 PM

      I doubt it. Even if Barea, Stevenson and Chandler returned Dallas wasnt getting past OKC or the Spurs. They had a great run last year, but even if they stayed together a second championship run was a long shot.

  3. moseskkim - Jul 3, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    Watch out! Brooklyn is a contender in the east, right there with Miami, chi town, and possibly Boston (Indiana is not that great).. Dwill, joe, crash, (Lopez,ilyasova)/Dwight. That’s a big time core.

    • datkiidjc - Jul 3, 2012 at 8:07 PM

      not contenders playoff team yes

    • ihavenonickname - Jul 3, 2012 at 8:11 PM

      Well I’d say they can be about as relevant as the Knicks became this year…could have a better record But no one will seriously fear them.

    • berto55 - Jul 3, 2012 at 8:58 PM

      Ha, I’m Bulls fan, but Indiana is that great. They are not far away. The Nets still don’t impress too much unless they get Howard. Just don’t see how Williams and Johnson mesh….good problem to have, but still. I see it as Mia, Ind, Bos, Chi, NJ, Phi, NY, ? Atlanta depends on if they continue to blow it up. My Bulls will regress and overachieve as it is (they should blow it up too and get to work putting together Rose’s next team).

  4. eaglesfootballfan - Jul 3, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    Should be a very competitive Atlantic Division this upcoming year between the Nets, 76ers, Celtics and Knicks for the top spot. Nets have a star PG to go along with Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace in a new arena and the other 3 teams should be improved. Nets should be a playoff team this year but it is yet to be determined if they are contenders or a threat to the Heat.

  5. fanz928 - Jul 3, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    Howard is going to brooklyn

  6. kregaway - Jul 3, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    Dwill is a loser. Not a franchise changer. He carried the nets nowhere. He needs d Howard to look like a legitimate baller.

    • jimeejohnson - Jul 3, 2012 at 9:39 PM

      Nobody has EVER been more wrong than you.

  7. bigzant82 - Jul 3, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    CONGRADS BK NETS hmm maybe i will watch the NBA AGAIN

    • slopmcflop - Jul 3, 2012 at 9:10 PM

      PLEASE DO so you’ll comment more and we’ll get more of this uhhhmmmm RANDOM CAPITALIZATION

      just playing bigzant you know I love you. Say hey to Steve for me.

      • bigzant82 - Jul 5, 2012 at 12:51 PM

        who are you and WTH is steve

  8. charlutes - Jul 3, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    100% Dwight Howard gets traded to the Nets. Orlando’s choices are lose him in a year for norhing or take brooks and company now.

    • berto55 - Jul 3, 2012 at 8:59 PM

      There is a little team in Texas that likes to spend money and has a whole lot of cap space.

  9. jerseyfinatic - Jul 3, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    I’m not saying this in any cocky nor arrogant way, but seriously. Where are you Nets haters at? Everyone in America and media was saying Dwill is definately going to Dallas. LOL Dallas….LOL

  10. raidmagic - Jul 3, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    Man the Nets are killing it this off season!! Not a nets fan but it’s been fun to watch them move

  11. knicksukcats - Jul 3, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    This guy just wasted everyone’s time like Lebron. If the dude knew he was gonna stay in NJ then why make a big act like you might leave? I now understand why the nets never came out and said they were worried about him leaving. These diva’s need to just man up and say what they want and stop playing games. He stayed on a crappy team that is no better than the Knicks, Pacers, 76ers or Bucks. If he wanted to win he would of went to da Mavs or Lakers. Now he can stay in NJ and keep losing while getting paid. He should of just said that in the first place.

    • knightrider1755 - Jul 3, 2012 at 9:08 PM

      Where have you been? Hasn’t someone told you yet that the team has moved to Brooklyn,NY? Its hard to read your post because you don’t know where the team is located.

      • raidmagic - Jul 3, 2012 at 9:23 PM

        Come on, really? You couldn’t get the gist of his post because he said NJ instead of Brooklyn? It’s gonna take some time. Stop with the whining when someone gets it wrong.

    • jimeejohnson - Jul 3, 2012 at 9:37 PM

      Knicks suck cats: what exit? I heard THE fat one, Governor and eater in chief Chris bigger than big Christie is not happy that the Nets are leaving. That is good, very good!

  12. willardj - Jul 3, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    If Howard goes to the Nets, that makes them the best team in the East IMO. Bulls will be without Rose most of next year. C’s will be losing Allen and another year older. The Pacers have lost Hibbert. The Heat will be good, but the Nets are matched up perfectly against the Heat’s main weaknesses (PG and C).

    You guys need to keep in mind that Dwight Howard with Nelson, Richardson, Turkoglu, and Anderson and with TONS of distractions was able to lead them to the 6th seed in the East and only 9 GAMES behind the Heat. You’re gonna tell me that adding D-Will, Johnson, and Wallace doesn’t improve that team by 9 games?

    I don’t like Howard at all, but I can admit that he is one of the best players in the NBA and would make the Nets instant title contenders.

    • miamatt - Jul 3, 2012 at 9:30 PM

      Indeed, adding Howard to this mix would make the Nets instant contenders. Further, the matchup with Miami intrigues with the Nets strongest at Miami’s relative weaknesses. as you say. Still, it looked like the Heat really figured out a formula once Bosh came back from his injury. I think Miami has tremendous versatility in terms of how they can choose to defend a team, and Howard doesn’t really exploit matchups offensively the way some of the great centers of the past did.

      In the end, I think Lebron > Howard, Wade > Williams, and Bosh > Johnson. I could see Wade’s injury giving pause, and understand disagreement on that one, but I’d want Wade over Williams in a gotta-have-it playoff game any day. I also know it is not as simple as player X > player Y, just sayin’… I think Lebron ties it all together in a way nobody on the Nets can. Who knows, though, until we see it on the court.

      Can’t stand Howard, but it sure would be fun to watch.

      • mytthor - Jul 3, 2012 at 10:20 PM

        Hollinger at ESPN wrote a good article about how it’s probably impossible for Howard to go to BK now. I don’t know that Wade is better than Williams, I think you call that a wash, and same with Bosh/Johnson. But more importantly, that potential Brooklyn trio meshes much better than the Miami big 3. Point/Wing/Big makes more sense than Wing/Wing/Finesse Big.

      • sdlakerfan - Jul 3, 2012 at 10:55 PM

        Congrats miamatt! The Heat were awesome and did get the formula working better and better.

        The matchups would really be Howard > Bosh, Wallace > Haslem, Lebron > ?, Wade > Johnson, and DWill > Chalmers. 3-2 Nets.

        I think it will take a year for the Nets to jell as a team. IMO – Miami’s still in the driver seat, Lebron is playing at an unbelievable all-time great level, but DWill is the best PG in the league and is going to make Howard a beast we haven’t seen yet.

      • edweird0 - Jul 3, 2012 at 11:03 PM

        Except for the Little fact that the heat have 2 years of deep playoff experience and one championship and the Nets so called big three have yet to even play a single game together. Experience > everything else.

      • passerby23 - Jul 4, 2012 at 1:33 AM

        Those are all good points. If they can acquire Howard, they’ve become a contender. They’ve also signed a great stretch four in Mirza Teletovic who will be a good change of pace from what Reggie Evans brings.

        But you’re right, they would have two lethal weapons at the 1 and 5 that can hurt the Heat most. I predict they would be the best rebounding team in the NBA.

        I think you can throw out which individual player is better than another. It’s how well they blend together and how well they can exploit individual matchups. For example, Teletovic and Howard might be a dangerous inside-out combo that forces teams to play them differently. Then, there’s the defensive schemes. The Nets would be a force defensively with lots of shot blocking and rebounding.

        On paper, Kobe, Gasol, and Bynum are better than most players in the league at their positions, but what else do the Lakers have? The Pistons of ’04-05 were clearly at a disadvantage in overall individual talent and yet they were a great team. Forget about Wade being better than Johnson or whatever phony individual comparisons there are to be made.

  13. jimeejohnson - Jul 3, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    Brooklyn is the new Manhattan, at least culinary speaking. The plethora of excellent restaurants, bars, and cottage food industries in Brooklyn surpasses most major cities IN THE WORLD. Personally, I wouldn’t live in a city if you paid me, but at least Brooklyn is close to an ocean, doesn’t have earthquakes, and is right over a couple of bridges I have for sale from Manhattan. Derrick Williams might even live in Brooklyn, rather than Manhattan. Bobby Flay, appreciator of great bbq, has an incredible spread on the Brooklyn waterfront at half the price of what’s not even possible in Manhattan. I’ll probably never go to NYC, but if I do I’m going to Brooklyn.

  14. lakerluver - Jul 3, 2012 at 11:43 PM

    The Nets will be good but not great if they don’t get Howard.

  15. rajbais - Jul 4, 2012 at 12:10 AM

    Deron, be careful. Your general manager is inept!

  16. garyaroot - Jul 4, 2012 at 1:07 AM

    Damn, this guy is definitely in the 1%! You “occupy Wallstreeters” should be hating his guts. He makes more than Mitt Romney! I definitely won’t be buying anything he endorses! What a pig!

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