Deron Williams has a big decision to make over the coming weeks and months.
Big enough to change the landscape of whichever conference he decides to play in.
Should he be thinking of playing elsewhere? Can he get a more fulfilling career or a better title run than in Brooklyn or Dallas?
There are only a handful of teams capable of signing Deron Williams—who will command a maximum salary (or close to it if he chooses to take less money to team up with another star a la Miami Heat 2010).
The Phoenix Suns do have enough salary cap room to offer Williams a maximum contract, but the Suns would simply be replacing Steve Nash with a younger point guard without adding anyone to help them return to the playoffs. Overall, not a very plausible scenario.
The Cleveland Cavaliers only drafted Kyrie Irving last summer, and he is fresh off winning the 2012 NBA Rookie of the Year award—there is no way he goes to be a backup after being a crucial part of the post-LeBron James recovery.
The Kings with Williams, though, would be a terrific opponent: Williams, Tyreke Evans, DeMarcus Cousins and Thomas Robinson? That's a great lineup to field.
The Indiana Pacers are the most intriguing option currently sitting quietly on the table. You can be sure should reports suggest Williams is unsure about his future, the Pacers front office will be immediately on the phone to the Nets.
The Pacers would be a great fit for Williams as they already boast a near-All Star in Danny Granger and an All-Star center in Roy Hibbert. On top of that they have tough veteran David West and exciting young forwards like Paul George and Tyler Hansbrough.
Adding Williams would be creating a defensively intimidating lineup boasting myriad top-level defenders.
Though Brooklyn represents the best financial destination since New York is one of the largest basketball markets in America, Williams could choose to give all that up if he decides that winning a championship matters more than making easy money.
A sign-and-trade opens up plenty of destinations that Williams would do well to explore. Locking in on the Los Angeles Lakers, Williams could execute a sign-and-trade for Andrew Bynum that would create a Williams/Kobe/Pau Gasol big three, more than capable of making the Lakers a fearsome opponent in an already-tough Western Conference.
Then there is the massive outside possibility that Williams demands a sign-and-trade to the New York Knicks. It would likely be Carmelo Anthony coming to Brooklyn as Amar'e Stoudemire's contract is uninsured.
New York is a bigger market than Brooklyn and would present Williams with by far the greatest opportunity to become one of the best paid sportsmen on the planet.