Little has changed over the last few weeks in the free agency situation of star point guard Deron Williams, as the Nets and Mavs are still considered the frontrunners for his services. Chris Broussard of ESPN.com reported yesterday that Williams’s decision will not be made based on which team can offer the most money, which hurts the Nets and their ability to offer Williams a contract 1 year and $27 million more than any other team can offer.
Dallas has been gearing up to sign D-Will ever since they won the championship in 2011. By not resigning Tyson Chandler, not offering Jason Terry a contract extension, and not bringing back Caron Butler, they managed to keep Dirk Nowitzki while also clearing the cap space to sign a second star, potentially Williams. Mark Cuban, the ostentatious owner of the Mavs, will undoubtedly sell Deron on Dirk’s ability to run the pick and roll, a skill the German big man hasn’t tapped into much since the Steve Nash in Dallas era.
D-Will and Dirk would be a formidable combination, no one is doubting that. But Dirk is old, and the Mavs have the same depth problems the Nets have. After Dirk and Shawn Marion, the best Mavericks under contract are Rodrigue Beaubois and Brendan Haywood, not exactly a whopping supporting cast. Dirk experienced a drop off at the beginning of the 2011-12 season, and his team is clearly on the decline.
The Mavs will certainly improve if D-Will signs there. but their championship window is closing. The Nets, on the other hand, have not yet opened their window, but they have a lot to offer as a franchise on the move. Williams will be a star in a new (and huge) media market in Brooklyn, and the team has the cap space to surround him with quality pieces.
In reality, it all comes down to what Deron Williams the man prefers. If he is the kind of guy that wants to win right now like so many other NBA players are, he’ll sign in Dallas. If he wants to put in the work and build his own dynasty, he’ll return to the Nets. That latter trait is far more unique nowadays, but Deron has shown an affinity towards the franchise that some have interpreted as a desire to remain there and build a contender.
Quick tangent: if D-Will signs with the Mavs, he’ll have to get through the Thunder to get to the Finals. If he signs in the East, he’ll have to get through the Heat. In my opinion, neither potential destination will lead to a team good enough to take out either of the teams currently battling for the NBA Championship. If the average ages of all teams are taken into account, it becomes clear he should sign in the East, and therefore with the Nets. If Deron signs in Dallas, he will have 2 0r 3 years of Dirk being a superstar at best. Kevin Durant is the oldest of OKC’s “Big Three”, and he is only 23. It is very improbable that a D-Will and Dirk combo could take out the Thunder. That being said, it is also unlikely the Nets build a squad capable of taking out Miami, but Dwayne Wade is 30 and LeBron James is 27. Their window is closing faster than OKC’s, as Wade will be far less effective than he is now in 3 or 4 years. A place in the NBA Finals will be reserved for OKC for years, but the East could potentially be wide open in a few years. If D-Will’s goal is truly to win championships, building in Brooklyn is a far better option than beating his head against the OKC wall in the West.
Sorry that wasn’t the quickest of quick tangents, but it had to be said. We will be keeping you updated on the D-Will situation throughout the offseason, hopefully with some good news for the Brooklyn Nets.