LAS VEGAS – LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh first talked about the possibility of playing together when they were teammates for the gold-medal Olympic team in 2008. Turns out, they weren't the only ones in Beijing plotting to form a super team.
Deron Williams said he and Dwight Howard first discussed the possibility of teaming together four years ago in China. With the Orlando Magic talking about a proposed trade to send Howard to Williams and the Brooklyn Nets, that dream could be closer to becoming reality.
"It was just talk about that point four years ago," Williams said. "[Brooklyn] definitely intrigues [Howard]. Brooklyn is going to be huge. That factored into my decision [to re-sign with the Nets]. This is a place that hasn’t had a [sports] franchise since the ’50s. This is a city that wants basketball there, and then the arena is going to be great."
Howard has told people close to him that a Nets deal could happen soon. Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reported Monday that a Howard deal could include more than 10 players and at least four teams.
Williams has said he primarily agreed to re-sign with the Nets instead of joining his hometown Dallas Mavericks after Brooklyn struck a deal to acquire Atlanta Hawks guard Joe Johnson. The Nets are also re-signing forward Gerald Wallace. Williams isn't certain Howard will join them.
"There have been a lot of rumors over the last year as far as he’s concerned," said Williams, who said he hasn't talked to Howard in three weeks. "Early on I concerned myself with it. But lately I’m just like, 'Let it play itself out and whatever happens, happens.' We’ll have a good team without him. We’ll have a better team with him. The situation is tricky."
The Celtics put together a three-star lineup with Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen that won a title in 2008 and played in two NBA Finals. The Heat played in the last two Finals with their star trio of James, Wade and Bosh, and won last season's championship. Williams thinks Brooklyn would become an instant title contender if they trade for Howard.
"That's the way you got to go now to compete with Miami," Williams said.
Williams said Howard's biggest attraction to the Nets is playing with him in the New York market. He laughed at the idea that any of this would be possible if the franchise was still in New Jersey. The Nets unsuccessfully tried to acquire Howard before last season's trade deadline.
With that in mind, Williams has tempered his excitement about Howard's potential arrival. Without Howard, the Nets are expected to re-sign Brook Lopez.
"That’s why I'm not really concerning myself with it because this whole scenario happened in February," Williams said. "It is what it is. Of course, I'm going to welcome that trade. But if it doesn't happen I think we have a great group. I think Brook is a great player and can be a special player in this year, especially with the right pieces around him."
Williams admitted the Knicks will be a challenge for the Nets. They made the playoffs last season and have a roster that will include Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler, Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby and Jeremy Lin, provided New York matches the offer sheet Houston extended to Lin. But if the Nets arrive in Brooklyn as a championship contender with Howard on their roster, they also won't lack attention.
"They already have to be looked at as a team that can compete next year," Chandler said. "With the addition of Joe Johnson they have one of the best backcourts in the league. Deron Williams, Joe Johnson – Gerald Wallace is an incredible player. They got solid bigs.
"As it is right now, they're a good team. If they can pull off the other thing that's roaming around out there in the air, obviously it can make them better."
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