I’ll admit, I was still figuring out the ins-and-outs of the new CBA when I reacted to Deron Williams opting out of his contract with the New Jersey Nets. Under the old CBA, that was an indication that he was going to explore his options and possibly not come back. But under this new deal, it makes perfect financial sense for him to opt-out because a team using Bird Rights to sign its own free agent can offer an extra year on the contract. For guys like Williams, its added incentive to stay put.
So instead of Williams’ decision being harbinger of doom, it could actually be viewed as a sign of his intent to stay. Another positive sign?
So step off the ledges, Brooklyn-ites. It looks like the Nets will very likely still have their main selling point for potential free agents. A chance to ball with DWill in New York is very enticing. And the Nets are one of few teams that can actually put a reasonable offer together for someone like Dwight Howard (not as reasonable as the Lakers, but it can be a deal that is at least worth considering).
And even if they don’t deal for Dwight or someone else, the Nets have the cap space to pursue other free agents that may fill valuable roles and create a solid playoff team. It all starts with Williams. If he can remain convinced that the Nets are in a good place and will make the right moves, then you’ve got a team that will challenge the Knicks for some of New York’s spotlight, and possibly create a great new rivalry for the NBA.