All-Star point guard Deron Williams has agreed to a five-year contract worth nearly $100 million to remain with the Brooklyn Nets.
Williams announced his decision on his Twitter account Tuesday night, opting to stay with the Nets rather than sign with the Dallas Mavericks. He also directly informed the Nets that he was accepting the team's five-year, $100 million offer, league sources said. Under NBA rules, the Nets could offer Williams a fifth season worth about $25 million while the Mavericks' offer was limited to four years.
With Williams staying with the Nets, the Mavericks will make an immediate bid to sign point guard Steve Nash, league sources said. The Mavs are also working to try to re-sign Jason Kidd. Nevertheless, Dallas won't come close to matching the three-year, $36 million offer that Toronto has made Nash, a league source told Yahoo! Sports.
Dallas won't pursue Houston free-agent point guard Goran Dragic, a league source said. The Mavericks are cautious about investing the kind of money it will take to lure Dragic from the Rockets, or away from other suitors like the Phoenix Suns.
Williams' decision is a coup for the Nets, who have worked hard to line up a franchise star for their move to Brooklyn this upcoming season. They unsuccessfully tried to trade for All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony last season and so far have been unable to persuade the Orlando Magic to trade All-Star center Dwight Howard. Nets general manager Billy King gambled by acquiring Williams at the 2011 trade deadline, and was able to secure Williams' commitment by selling him on the franchise's future.
Williams' commitment comes one day after the Nets acquired All-Star guard Joe Johnson in a blockbuster trade that sent guards Anthony Morrow, Jordan Farmar and DeShawn Stevenson and forwards Jordan Williams and Johan Petro to the Hawks, along with a lottery-protected 2013 first-round pick the Nets acquired from the Houston Rockets. The Nets also have agreed to a four-year, $40 million contract with forward Gerald Wallace, a deal with Bosnian forward Mirza Teletovic and a three-year, $5 million deal with forward Reggie Evans, who was acquired in a sign-and-trade agreement with the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Nets have continued talks with the Magic about a possible trade for Howard, but if they can't make a deal, they'll work to re-sign free-agent center Brook Lopez and move to keep free-agent forward Kris Humphries, a league source said. The Nets also are still pursuing Milwaukee Bucks free-agent forward Ersan Ilyasova, sources said. Milwaukee has pushed to re-sign Ilyasova.
Had the Nets lost out on Deron Williams, they were prepared to make a run at point guard Goran Dragic with a $9 million a year offer, sources said.
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