Well, this isn't good.
CBSSports.com NBA reporter Ken Berger is reporting that sources very close to the Mavericks say Dallas thinks Deron Williams will resign with the Nets and head with the team to Brooklyn next season.
Again, take everything with a grain of salt. Free agency talks don't begin till July 1 and Williams hasn't even heard the Mavericks offer or pitch. Williams could be all ready to agree to a deal with the Nets before July 1 roles around only to reconsider after hearing what Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson has to say.
Until Dwight Howard is traded to the Nets, Williams is still viable to sign in Dallas. But I wouldn't lie to you and say I wasn't worried about the recent feel of things. My bet is Williams most likely stays with the Nets, if only because I'm a giant pessimist.
Sigh. Here's some choice quotes from Berger's piece:
Four rival executives and a fifth person familiar with Williams' thinking told CBSSports.com Tuesday that the Mavericks are becoming increasingly worried that the All-Star point guard will stay with the Nets when the free-agent floodgates open Sunday.
And a somewhat interesting bit I hadn't read or heard about until today:
The recent vibe executives are getting from Dallas contradicts the word in the sneaker industry only last week. A high-ranking person in that field told CBSSports.com that the feeling among sneaker execs was that Williams would prefer to join his hometown team at a discount rather than stay with the Nets. Such a decision, the person said, would be based on the understanding that Mavs owner Mark Cuban would be able to sway Williams that any lost earnings could be made up via endorsements and by the Mavs being better positioned to reload their roster around Williams and Dirk Nowitzki and compete for a championship.