Forget Dwight Howard, Brooklyn Nets fans. Your team's first priority this offseason should be re-signing star point guard Deron Williams, which will prove to be a hard task since the man plans to test the market and see what kind of offers he can get this summer.
Despite that report, however, other teams are also courting the former Illinois star. Over the past month, multiple rumors have popped up regarding his future. Let's take a look at some of the buzz.
Despite all of the speculation surrounding Williams, there's still a good chance that he remains in Brooklyn as he seems to like the area. According to ESPN's Chris Broussard, Williams has been working out at the Nets' training facilities, and at his birthday party last night, head coach Avery Johnson was in attendance and the only other member of the organization present.
Though everything is still up in the air, this could be a huge advantage in the Nets' favor. The fact that Williams is working out at the team's facilities and still associating with organization members is a huge sign that he is in fact considering staying. However, it's all pure speculation, as the real game will begin on July 1.
The Mavericks could also have a huge advantage when it comes to signing Williams, and I'm not talking about his familiarity with the area after growing up and playing his high school ball there.
According to ESPN's Marc Stein, Williams has already started looking at houses in the Dallas area in the event that he signs with the Mavs. This may be jumping the gun a little bit, but looking at houses in the days before signing is a very telling sign.
On top of that, according to star-telegram.com, Williams' former agent, Tommy Thomas, (and coincidentally, his old high school coach) wants him to sign with the Mavericks.
This week, the Houston Rockets have been preparing to make an effort to trade for Dwight Howard. Howard is good friends with Williams and has wanted a trade to the Nets since the start of the season so that the two could play together and usher in a new era of greatness upon the move to Brooklyn.
However, the Rockets have been entertaining the notion of luring Williams should they be able to acquire Howard. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like it's going to happen.
One team that recently threw themselves into the Williams sweepstakes is the Phoenix Suns, whose first priority this summer is to re-sign veteran point guard Steve Nash.
However, Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News reports that the Suns plan to "go hard" after Williams if Nash should sign elsewhere. Their main selling point? Williams' love of golf, apparently.
All golfing aside, however, Phoenix could actually be a great fit for Williams. Though a phenomenal distributor, he is also a great scoring point guard. In the Suns' fast-paced offense, he could potentially be great.
The Los Angeles Lakers have needed a top point guard for a long time now, and if both sides could agree, or were interested at all, Williams could be headed to the Staples Center since the Lakers have good players available and the Nets have the cap room.
However, the odds of this happening are vague. Though the Nets are not interested in completing a sign-and-trade deal that sees Williams headed to the Lakers, Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times asked the All-Star point guard about how he would feel about such a deal. Williams simply responded, "We'll see."
No matter how you look at it, Williams' free agency saga is going to be one to watch, and come July 1, everyone will probably tune in.