Dallas wanted Deron Williams. Deron Wlliams didn't want Dallas.
So now what?
Well, you'll forgive the arrogance in quoting myself, but this is what I said a little over a month ago, before the playoffs ended and things looked gloomy in Big D:
Here is my contention: Dwight Howard, Deron Williams, and Chris Paul are targets(the ones we know and/or can reasonably infer). Howard is the ideal fit for Dirk, someone who rebounds and defends and does a lot of the things Chandler did to help the team win a title, only better. Paul and Williams are elite playmakers, and the type of players that can play off Dirk in pick and roll situations, and would take over as go-to guys as Dirk winds his career down and eventually retires. They are all marquee names who would bring in major revenue for the organization. In short, they are franchise-changers. Until their futures are settled, pretty much any player the team elects to employ, short of someone else who is a franchise-changer, is probably going to be viewed as a stopgap, short-term solution. In other words, they're going to keep the powder dry.
So, if your offseason plan for Dallas involves trading for someone with a huge longterm contract? Might want to rethink that. If it involves signing a good but not franchise-changing player like Roy Hibbert or Eric Gordon, etc? Possible, but not likely. The longer the contract, the more obstacles created in the pursuit of a true star.
Well, here we are. Deron Williams is a net, still. Free agents left and right are getting absurd contracts and not a one of them are coming from the Dallas Mavericks.
I'm sure there's a lot of moaning and groaning about Howard and Paul. After Deron, we all probably want to say that "none of these guys are coming, nobody likes Dallas", etc. That's fine, you can assume that. The idea is still that the way Dallas gets back to championship contender status is by pairing Dirk with a star. Some star; if it's not Paul or Howard, then someone else.
Overpaying for Goran Dragic or Jeremy Lin or Roy Hibbert or whoever else, isn't going get Dallas past the hump they were stifled by for the first three years post-Kidd trade. I'll admit I think I would have regressed to giddy schoolchild if Steve Nash had returned, but committing so many years to a 38 year old was a recipe for disaster, too. I'll say it now, that under this CBA, I think we're going to see a lot of remorseful buyers in 12 or 24 months time, and Dallas isn't going to be in that group for once.
Patience is needed. Anger and bitterness are easy, cheap. Anyone can do that. Being patient is hard, and it requires an understanding that everything that's going on isn't designed to just satiate you.
Dallas still has work to do(and, despite what it may seem, they will sign somebody new soon), and certainly there are no assurances whatever plan they are laying will pay off so splendidly. However, I for one am glad that this plan did not involve paying a mid-level player a seven-figure salary.