This is coming on the heels of Deron announcing that he will indeed opt of his current contract with the Nets after the season, making him a free agent on July 1. Guys like Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com (who obviously is a big Mavs fan) are saying that this news makes the potential scenario that D-Will will head to his hometown team in free agency a "likely" occurrence.
This notion is ridiculous and is nothing more than a biased view from a writer who would certainly benefit from covering a team with one of the best point guards in the league on it.
The only thing that Deron has said, which would seem to support him leaving the Nets and going down to Dallas as a free agent, is that he is from a Dallas suburb and likes playing at the American Airlines Center. Putting all of these half-truths and pure speculations aside, let's take a look at why Brooklyn is the place that Deron should be when next NBA season comes around.
The more talented team right now would be the Mavericks, but for the long-term future, it would have to be the Nets. Whatever Deron's mindset is, winning right now or building for the future, would determine which of these two options is more attractive to him.
Of course, Dallas has a future hall-of-famer in Dirk Nowitzki which obviously the Nets do not have. However, he is 33 years old and isn't getting any younger, neither is the rest of the Mavericks core. Vince Carter is 35, Jason Kidd is 39, Jason Terry is 34 and Shawn Marion is 33.
Deron would have to be a fool to think that Dallas can continue to be a contender in the years to come with that old roster. On the other hand, the Nets only have one player in his 30s (DeShawn Stevenson at 31).
Now, if you're a star point guard with your pick of the litter as to which team to sign with, do you want the team with aging veterans or the team with young talented players with worlds of upside? I would pick the latter.
Mark Cuban versus Mikhail Prokhorov. Billionaire versus more-of-a-billionaire. US versus Russia. I'm sure any star player would want to play for either of these two guys. Now why would D-Will choose the Russian oil magnate over the outspoken US technology kingpin?
One word: money. Cuban, about as brash and team-involved as any professional sports team owner, is only worth $2.3 billion while Prokie is worth about $13.2 billion.
I realize that owners can't give players any more money that what is stipulated in their contracts but with his massive wealth, global reach (again, he's from Russia) and political influence (made an unsuccessful bid for President of Russia), Prokhorov can make Deron a worldwide superstar, which would only increase the endorsement offers and money D-Will could earn.
Cuban, although extremely influential here in the US, just doesn't offer the advantages that Prokhorov does.
I know the Dallas/Ft. Worth metropolitan area is very big and has a lot of people in it. Still, it doesn't even come close to comparing to New York City, specifically Brooklyn, in terms of media coverage, influence and potential for a fanbase.
There's a reason why they call New York "the media/financial capital of the world," and that's why D-Will would benefit more from going there than to his hometown of Dallas.
I'm referring to the $1 billion Barclays Center in this comparison to the home of the Mavericks, the American Airlines Center. Now, I've never been to Dallas and the AAC, so I have no clue as to whether it is nice inside or is anything like what the Barclays Center will be when it's finished.
What I do know is that star players like luxurious and inviting arenas (see Kobe at the Staples Center and Lebron/Wade/Bosh at American Airlines Arena).
When completed, I hold no doubts in my mind that the Barclays Center will be the nicest arena in the whole NBA which would bring further credibility to the Nets and hopefully serve as a wonderful home court for D-Will.
Still, it's Deron's choice as to whether even the arena will make a difference in his decision. However, when you have the option of playing half your games every season in a $1 billion masterpiece over any other arena, you probably pick the one that cost the most.
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