NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 23: Deron Williams of the New Jersey Nets stands on the court during a timeout against the Philadelphia 76ers at Prudential Center on April 23, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. Tonight's game is the last home game the Nets will play in New Jersey since the franchise will being moving to play at the Barclays Center in the New York City Borough of Brooklyn for the 2012-13 NBA season. starting in theNOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
(SB Nation Dallas, Jonathan Tjarks) With the start of NBA free agency still over a month away, it's far too early to panic about the Dallas Mavericks off-season, but this Deron Williams quote in a recent SI.com piece by Sam Amick can't make Mavericks fans feel too good:
The source said Williams' preference, however, is for the Nets to improve the roster sufficiently enough that he can feel good about staying put rather than fear a repeat of this season, when they finished 22-44. As for Dallas, which sacrificed its best chance to defend the title by preserving salary-cap space last summer in anticipation of this free-agent class, the source said of the Mavericks: "There's no longevity there." If owner Mark Cuban can clear enough space to sign a worthy sidekick for Williams, though, then maybe he'd join his hometown team after all.
That was always the concern with letting Tyson Chandler walk last season, as now the only thing the Mavericks have to offer free agents is the chance to play with the 34-year old Dirk Nowitzki.
The last sentence, though, is probably the kicker: with the Miami Heat beginning the super-team era, Williams likely sees playing with Dwight Howard as his best chance of being relevant over the next five seasons.
If Dallas can offer him that opportunity, he'd likely jump at the chance, but just a home-town team push isn't going to be enough.