The Nets wanted out from under the contracts of Joe Johnson and Deron Williams this summer, but D-Will was always going to be the harder to deal. Williams is set to make $43 million over the next two years, which is a lot of money for an erratic 13 points and 6.6 assists per game (his per-game averages last year).
So the Nets may just buy him out.
Then he would go home and sign with the Dallas Mavericks.
That according to Marc Stein at ESPN.
Former All-Star point guard Deron Williams is in talks with the Brooklyn Nets about securing his potential release this offseason to clear the way for Williams to sign with his hometown Dallas Mavericks, according to league sources….
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 reduce their luxury-tax bill, as long as such a measure is executed before the Aug. 31 deadline….
Sources say the Mavericks, by contrast, are very motivated to sign Williams after being spurned in free agency by DeAndre Jordan, provided Williams can extricate himself from the Nets and get to the open market.
Nets GM Billy King previously said there was no chance the Nets would buy out Williams. Apparently he meant no chance until there was zero chance he could trade Williams. Just buying out Williams would still leave the Nets with a pretty hefty salary cap hit they are trying to avoid (they are close to the repeater tax) so waiving and stretching out his contract (spreading the salary cap hit over five years at more like $8.6 million rather than $21 million this year) is certainly a possibility.
Back in 2012 Williams chose Brooklyn over Dallas when it was time to renew his deal. However, he grew up in Dallas, and as an added draw his former Jazz teammate Wesley Matthews is now a Maverick player. Dallas certainly needs a point guard, and Williams would be an upgrade over Devin Harris and J.J. Barea.
This makes some sense for both sides. The Nets get out from under some salary and can start to rebuild. The Mavericks can be a little better, more respectable and maybe a playoff team in the West (maybe, the West remains stacked).
It’s something to watch. Brooklyn will do what it takes to get out from under this contract.