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At this point in the Deron Williams sweepstakes, SI.com's Sam Amick (via CBSSports.com) reports that the Nets are the leader, with the Mavericks and Lakers also in contention to land the most coveted free agent in 2012.
The Lakers should be doing everything in their power to coerce the three-time all-star to put on purple and gold next season. Of course, the team does not have the financial flexibility to sign Williams, so a sign-and-trade would be needed to bring the Texan to L.A.
Williams is well aware of the Lakers' tight financial situation (via LATimes.com).
I know they don't have any money to just go out and sign me, said Williams, who has a player option for $17.8 million next season with New Jersey. It'll have to be some kind of deal.
That deal would ideally involve Gasol, but according to New York Daily News reporter Stefan Bondy (via CBSSports.com), the Nets are not interested in absorbing Gasol's contract—which has $38.3 million remaining over the next two seasons.
It seems that the only possible way the Lakers are going to land D-Will is to involve Bynum in the trade. If the Nets were to agree to a swap involving Bynum, the Lakers should jump at that opportunity. Pairing Williams with Bryant in the backcourt would elevate this team to new heights, despite Bynum's absence.
Williams is a bona fide baller and is arguably the best point guard in the NBA. Not to mention his extraordinary ability to step up during crunch time. In his last postseason campaign in 2010 with the Utah Jazz, Williams averaged 24.3 points and 10.2 assists in 10 games.
He would immediately make everyone else on the team better, as he is a pass-first point guard but certainly has the ability to take over a game at any point—evidenced by his 57-point performance this year.
While this trade seems unlikely at this point, thousands of Laker fans are hoping it comes to fruition. We are still weeks away from the beginning of free agency, when all the dominoes begin to fall into place. And the Lakers are hoping D-Will falls right into their laps.