When Deron Williams spurned the Dallas Mavericks back in 2012, it was quite the blow. Williams chose a Nets roster featuring Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez over a frazzled Mavericks roster featuring an aging Dirk Nowitzki.
However, Deron's time as a Net has not gone smoothly, and ESPN's Marc Stein is reporting that the former All-Star point guard wants out of Brooklyn and has interest in playing with his hometown Mavericks.
A buyout, if Williams' representatives and the Nets can come to terms, would be Brooklyn's preference compared to outright waiving the 31-year-old. The Nets have been adamant since the end of the season that they do not want to simply release Williams via the stretch provision, even though it would allow them to pay out his remaining salary over the next five seasons and also reduce their luxury-tax bill, as long as such a measure is executed before an Aug. 31 deadline.
Stein also reports that the Utah Jazz, the franchise that turned Williams into a star, is showing interest in bringing him back despite their crowded point guard depth with Trey Burke and Dante Exum. The Mavs, however, are Williams' preferred destination, per Stein.
Bringing back Williams would pair him in the backcourt with former Jazz teammate Wesley Matthews, who signed his four-year, $70 million contract with Dallas on Thursday. The Mavericks are also looking at another former Utah star, Carlos Boozer, as a potential backup for Dirk.
Adding Deron after losing the emoji war with the Clippers would only compound this extremely bizarre offseason. Williams would be looked at as a reclamation project of sorts. His career took a steep dive in Brooklyn after dealing with chronic ankle issues. As strange as this move would be, there's a strong chance Williams will be in a Maverick uniform next season.
"It's 60 to 70 percent that [Williams] winds up in Dallas," one source told ESPN.com.
Deron to Dallas is alive yet again, and this time the feeling is mutual.