The Brooklyn Nets have not had too much good news on the free agent front during the last few seasons. This latest report on All-Star point guard Deron Williams may serve as some. Maybe.
News broke this weekend that Williams has narrowed his possible free agent landing spots to two teams. One of those being the Nets organization he played most recently for, and the other being his hometown Dallas Mavericks.
Everybody else is out of the running, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein who had the following on Sunday:
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.
Other teams, including the Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers and Houston Rockets, had been hoping to lodge their own bids for Williams once free agency begins, sources said. The Los Angeles Lakers, likewise have continued to express interest in a sign-and-trade package built around Pau Gasol for Williams, sources say, despite the Nets’ longstanding insistence that they have no interest in Gasol and would only consider such a move if they were getting back All-Star center Andrew Bynum, whom the Lakers have not made available.
Sources say Williams, in any case, already has instructed his representatives to advise any team that calls starting at 12:01 a.m. July 1 that he intends to either re-sign with the Nets or return to his hometown with the Mavericks after a glittering high school career in the Dallas area.
So don’t bother calling, Suns, Blazers, Rockets, and Lakers. Not happening.
Furthermore, I am not sure who the Lakers think they are kidding trying to send Pau Gasol out to Brooklyn in exchange for Williams. That does not make any sense for the Nets. Andrew Bynum would make some serious sense for them, if Williams was set on not re-signing, but there is just about no way Los Angeles would part with their young center right now anyways.
Williams could be the first big domino to fall for the Nets in their quest to build a product worth watching in Brooklyn. Dwight Howard could possibly follow if the Nets lock Deron up long-term, but there is not much reason for Howard to go there if he does not.
I do think the Mavericks have a real shot for his services though. Dirk is getting up there, but he is still got at least one, and maybe two more seasons left in the tank. Williams would have a much better chance to win next year in Dallas than he would in Brooklyn, in addition to being closer to home.
His ultimate decision will begin to play out on July 1, once free agency officially begins. For now though, the Nets should be somewhat pleased to be in the race. They need this one to go their way, and at least they have a 50/50 chance right now. Assuming Stein’s report is accurate of course.