Why the Nets have the upperhand in the battle for Deron Williams
So here’s the ugly list, as best we could gather. These teams could have enough cap space to sign Deron Williams to a max deal, and each is sufficiently flawed: Trailblazers, Hornets, Suns, Celtics, Bobcats, Rockets, Raptors, Cavaliers, Pacers, Kings, Mavericks, Nets.
Yes, the Pacers are good. But they play in Indiana, famous for windmills and farms. Their space is contingent on not re-signing Roy Hibbert. The Celtics already have a point guard, and their space is contingent on Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen bolting. Houston and its healthy cap space is quasi intriguing. Same with Portland.
But let’s simplify for the sake of your attention, because ultimately we believe it will come down to the Mavericks and Nets. We tossed around a scenario where the Nets – faced with losing Williams for nothing in free agency – would agree to a sign-and-trade with the Lakers for Pau Gasol, but it was adamantly shot down by team insiders. Apparently cap space is more valuable than Gasol, and maybe the Nets don’t want Williams thinking the Lakers are an option. The Nets reportedly turned down that deal before last season...
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