Now that the NBA Finals are over and the Miami Heat have been crowned champions, it's time for NBA fans to turn their attention to the offseason and, more importantly, the future of Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams.
Sources say Williams, in any case, already has instructed his representatives to advise any team that calls starting at 12:01 a.m. July 1 that he intends to either re-sign with the Nets or return to his hometown with the Mavericks after a glittering high school career in the Dallas area.
However, teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers and others who were hoping to acquire Williams via a sign-and-trade may still be in the running.
Here's a fact-or-fiction look at the latest Williams rumors.
Williams likes Brooklyn and is the face of the franchise. With or without Dwight Howard, there's still a good chance he re-signs with the team.
There's also the fact that Brooklyn can offer an extra year and a total worth close to $100 million. The Nets are still major players.
Where will Williams end up playing in 2013?
Dallas has been a rumored destination for the All-Star point guard all season long, and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban cleared up the necessary cap space to land Williams.
They can offer a four-year deal worth close to $75 million but can offer the opportunity to contend for a championship. Dallas is only one year removed from a championship, and pairing Williams with Dirk Nowitzki makes the Mavs contenders again.
If he's interested in competing for a championship, Dallas remains a reality.
Los Angeles Lakers
If any team needs Williams to contend, it's the Lakers. Stein also reported that while the Los Angeles will dangle Pau Gasol as a trade chip, the Nets won't be interested unless the ship Andrew Bynum their way.
That's unlikely to happen, and the Lakers don't have the cap room to sign Williams as a free agent.
Stein reported that these three teams were hoping to make their offer for Williams, but it's doubtful they were ever in the running to begin with. This was always pretty much a two-team race between Dallas and Brooklyn.