Speaking to the New York Daily News, Williams said that he plans to test the market this offseason.
Deron Williams tells the Daily News: "I will not op-in. Its not monkey see, monkey do."— Stefan Bondy (@NYDNInterNets) March 16, 2012
This is the right call for Williams. He should not feel obligated to the Nets. He is at the peak of his career and has earned the right to sign a long-term, big money contract with whomever he likes.
In addition to that, Williams also told the Daily News that, wherever he ends up, he wants it to be the last place he plays.
DWill says the next place he plays is where he wants to retire.— Stefan Bondy (@NYDNInterNets) March 16, 2012
Now that the Nets have a definitive statement on what their star point guard plans to do, they can work on crafting a deal that will convince him to stay. They need marquee names on the roster when they move to Brooklyn next season for ticket and merchandise sales.
Williams, on the other hand, is going to be one of the most sought-after players on the market. He is going to have his choice of teams—some closer to winning than others.
He can set himself and his family up financially for a long time to come. From an NBA perspective, Williams can set himself up to play for a team that will compete for championships next season.
As much as the Nets may want to keep Williams, they are not close to winning a championship. They have some nice pieces, but nothing that can compete with the top teams in the eastern conference.
Plus, with Howard taking himself off the market, Williams is the biggest name available. Teams value point guards more now than ever before, so this is a perfect storm for him—and one he would have been foolish to avoid.