One of the biggest issues leading up to NBA lockout was player movement. The owners — specifically those in smaller and less financially viable markets — were hoping that they could enact some constraints on players’ abilities to dictate where they get to play. Alas, here we are with Dwight Howard seemingly unable to make his mind up if he wants to stay put or seek riches elsewhere. Dwight decided to opt in which means we get another year the Dwight Howard saga. However, one player who will be the fortunate recipient of some of a Dwightless free agent class will undoubtedly be the Nets point guard Deron Williams and his hair.
Aside from Williams, Steve Nash, Gerald Wallace, Lamar Odom (if his schedule is free), Ray Felton, Michael Beasley, George Hill, and restricted free agents O.J. Mayo ad Eric Gordon headline this summer’s free agent market. To say that Williams is the best player on this crop is an understatement; you can count on one hand the teams who will not be sniffing around him one way or another. Williams isn’t stupid and knows that there are going to be teams with deep pockets who will be more than willing to compensate the 28-year-old’s inflationary asking price. As Marc Spears of yahoosports.com points out, Williams might already have an eye on opting out no matter what.
What does this mean for Brooklyn? Frankly, the best weapon general manager Billy King has in his arsenal is the players being too terrified to say no to Mikhail Prokhorov for reasons having to do with their health. Next season the Nets will probably be opening the Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn without a headline name. In any other city that wouldn’t be the end of the world, but when you have to claw every bit of the New York media attention away from the Knicks, you need more than Marshon Brooks as the face of the franchise.
Yet with a strong draft, the Nets could market themselves as younger, fresher group of upstarts in a similar manner to the role the Dodgers played in the 1940s and 50s. Of course, with the luck the Nets have had lately, they will secure the fourth pick in the lottery and have to forfeit that pick to Portland as compensation for Gerald Wallace.
SI.com’s Zack Lowe states that the Nets do still have the home-court advantage in retaining Williams by being able to offer him a max contract with annual raises of 7.5 percent, a mechanism that none of Williams’ proposed suitors can claim (under the new CBA, a free agent signing with a new team can receive a maximum of a four-year deal and 4.5 percent annual raises). If Williams chooses to opt out, he could be leaving upwards of roughly $42 million in cash on the table — that’s a lot of money (Charles Barkley voice).
Williams has hedged against the notion of leaving such an extraordinary amount of money on the table by saying “I want to win. At the end of the day, I'm not getting any younger. I'll be 28 when I sign this next deal. I have to look for the best situation for me."
Teams like Houston, Dallas, Boston (sign and trade), the Lakers, and maybe even Orlando (sign and trade) could all be potential landing spots for Williams this summer. While Dallas will be well under the luxury tax, they will be saddled with roughly $35 million in cap holds, so they will most likely have to figure out what they want to do with Jason Terry and Jason Kidd first.
Fan Hub Action
Michael T Carr May 16th
Another good article, Craig Lowell.
Charlie Lobosco May 1st
This is a very compelling story because Mr. Collins is a very passionate, tough, intelligent, athelete taking on some additional responsibliity to help others as…
Scott Cohen May 1st
Charlie.. very well said.. he does have guts
Scott Cohen May 1st
but it shouldn’t require guts. .like you said it’s nobody’s business but his own
Hisham Zameeth April 30th
best player ever…..
Kareem Musa Mayowa April 29th
We don’t need to be hopeless about the situation bryant his. Because even david villa situation also up to the level of his own to…
Maritess Lim April 28th
I still believe in KOBE’s power…… He is still the best…… He will make it possible no matter what……
mimi_aragon84 April 28th
I feel no pity for him. First of all, it is EAGLE, COLORADO, not Eagleton, secondly he enjoyed success and adulation from fans from 2003…
May 16th, 2013 12:13 PM
May 14th, 2013 1:28 AM
May 16th, 2013 9:45 AM
ALL TIME FAVES
April 16th, 2013 12:15 PM
April 9th, 2013 11:57 AM
March 1st, 2013 8:37 AM