It’s all about winning.
Deron Willams said so himself.
It’s not about the money, nor which billionaire owner he plays for. It’s not about past achievements, but what lies ahead. It’s not about homecomings.
Winning takes precedent.
The Mavericks have three players: Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion and Brendan Haywood taking up close to $38 million in cap space for the next couple of years. A max deal for Williams would eat up the remaining cap space, leaving the team little room to maneuver. Cuban would only be able to go over the cap to sign his own free agents (with bird rights). They’d also have the Mid-Level Exception.
Rick Carlisle recently said that Nowitzki needs help, and it showed in the playoffs. The German superstar will be 34 years old in June, and doesn’t have many runs left in him. The winning time frame is just not long enough in Dallas.
There have been rumors surfacing of Williams going to LA to join forces with Kobe Bryant. Seeing how the Lakers are way over the salary cap, the only way this could happen is if there was a sign-and-trade. The deal could involve other teams, namely the Houston Rockets, and would most likely involve either Pau Gasol or Andrew Bynum.
A deal involving Gasol, Kyle Lowry, Luis Scola, Patrick Patterson and Williams as the focal pieces works, but the Nets don’t get nearly enough value in return for Williams. If Williams ultimately decides he wants a sign-and-trade (which he has never indicated), the Nets could find a better deal.
There hasn’t been a lot of talk about Williams going to Indiana, the team that had the best season by far amongst the teams that have enough cap room to sign Williams. A starting lineup of Williams, Paul George, Danny Granger, David West and Roy Hibbert sounds sexy on paper, yet there has been little communication between the two sides.
Don’t expect Williams to land in Indiana, even though it makes a lot of sense.
The best fit for Williams in the short run and the long run is with the Brooklyn Nets. In the short term, Williams gets to be the face of a franchise with a new home and a new hope. The excitement around the Barclay’s Center is already starting to build and Williams could be at the forefront.
In the long term, a core comprised of Williams, an emerging MarShon Brooks and a healthy Brook Lopez could be competitive in the Atlantic Division. If the Nets could sign Ersan Ilyasova this offseason and can convince Gerald Wallace to resign for a reasonable deal, they could have a solid starting five with cap space in the near future. If the team can’t workout a deal with Wallace, look for Williams’ former teammate Andrei Kirilenko to fill the small forward spot.
Williams has the chance to be a part of something special, a unique opportunity that only comes around every 55 years or so.
If he wants to win and be a part of history at the same time, Brooklyn is the place to be.