Once July 1 rolls around, the speculation about Deron Williams can end. He'll have his decision and he'll get his new max deal by either staying with the Nets, coming home to DFW and the Dallas Mavericks or involving himself with a wildcard bidder.
Our beliefs, as biased as they may be?
The more we hear, think and calculate (and yes, hope ... we're Mavs fans, you know), the more we don't think "money" will be the difference-maker here. Deron can get "year 5'' here as well, just not in the same deal. (Story to come.) And by his own statements, he's aware that the tax difference between New York and Texas can work to even out the margin.
So there's more to it than $73.35 million vs. $98.77 million.
His decision hinges on finding a place where he thinks he can win, and a place where he wants to raise a family and stay long-term. He's said those things over and over, on the record, no shadowy sources needed. And he's his own man, with a decisive mind and a willingness to speak out, so I don't think he has any hidden agendas or will be bamboozled by the lure of something other than what he's looking for.
We've reported in great detail on his relationship with his mom and brother (who live in his hometown of The Colony) and we broke the story of "World Wide Wes'' being involved, too. We're now hearing Portland's good feelings on getting him are fading, though they just hired the GM who engineered the trade of Paul to the Clips, and they have Aldridge in place as a "young Dirk.'' We see money barriers in Indy and lots of hoops to jump through to create a trade to the Lakers.
So the Mavs still have their seat at the poker table, and there are only a few seats, and that's a very, very good place to be.
Oh, and if the LOAF contract deadline does get moved to July, we'd put the Mavs' chances even higher because of the difference that should make in assets available for roster building.
Odom's agent, Jeff Schwartz, will be right in the middle of that deal. And Jeff is also Deron's agent ... so Deron will be right in the middle, too.
In the meantime ... Hey, Deron: What's your favorite NBA city to play in?
Make of that what you will.
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