Last February the New Jersey Nets took a calculated gamble when they sent a parcel of young players to the Utah Jazz in exchange for All-Star point guard Deron Williams. The Nets knew that Williams could become a Free Agent at the end of this season; but they were confident that they could persuade him to sign with the club for a long-term pact. New Jersey’s plan was to acquire Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard; who also can be a Free Agent at the conclusion of the campaign and he had made it known that the Nets were one of the teams that he would consider signing with.
Orlando and New Jersey started to negotiate a possible trade scenario, when the Nets starting center Brook Lopez broke his foot in December; which put him on the sidelines for at least two months. The Magic would not consider a trade without Lopez being in the mix; but they will not resume negotiations until the young talented center returns to the hardwood.
“ESPN.com” basketball beat writer Chris Broussard reported on Friday that if the Nets are not able to acquire Howard either through a trade or via Free Agency then Williams most likely would be checking out other teams to be his new home starting next season. According to the report the three teams that the guard has the most interest in are the Dallas Mavericks, the Los Angeles Lakers and the New York Knicks.
The buzz in Dallas this season has been that if Howard and Williams enter Free Agency, then the Mavericks turn on the full-court press in order to sign the pair. Many NBA observers believe that the reason the Mavericks did not resign their three Free Agents who went to other teams last month was to clear salary cap space for next season.
The Lakers tried to trade for Chris Paul in a deal that was vetoed by the Association and led to Paul being dealt to the Clippers. The club would most likely jump at the chance to team up Williams with Kobe Bryant in their back-court. If the Knicks were to try to acquire the Nets guard they would have to trade either Carmelo Anthony or Amar’e Stoudemire to clear adequate cap space.
The report states that the sources are saying the Nets would only entertain a trade for their starting guard if they could receive quality players in return. In order for that to happen; Williams would have to agree to sign a long=term pact with his new team.