As harrowing as the month has been for Nets fans with the failed pursuit of Dwight Howard and the puzzling decision to deal a first round pick for Wallace, July is the month that most of us have been fretting.
I had been trying to remain optimistic that Williams may stay if he saw some compelling reason. But the closer I examine this, the harder it is for me to find a reason that would compel him to stay.
I thought about the Nets horrible luck w/injuries this year. Had Lopez stayed healthy, had we not gone through 3 starting small forwards, had the schedule been a little friendlier at the beginning of the season, maybe, just maybe, the Nets would be in contention for a playoff spot in the middling Eastern Conference. Maybe Williams would see the potential that a team with him, Lopez, Wallace, Hump (or a better PF to be had in free agency), Brooks, Morrow, Farmar and Green may have if they could play a full season together. Maybe the lure of Brooklyn and the national exposure and endorsement deals that may bring may entice Williams to stay.
Maybe the Nets will luck out and some combination of those things will entire Williams to stay. But I've tried to place myself in his shoes (a futile exercise I know, but this is just a hypothetical here). If I had already made more money than I could spend in my lifetime, what would truly motivate me? Like most athletes, it's the chance to compete for a title.
With that said, do the Nets present the best chance for Williams to win a championship? Looking at the roster, the questionable moves the FO has made and the history of the franchise as well as the negative perception around the league, and I'm sure the answer is a resounding NO.
I know we all assume he's off to Dallas then. Not so sure about that one either. True they are the defending champs, but that was last year's team. The Mavs are still good, but they are no longer great. Could Williams joing Dirk and crew elevate them back to the top? Possibly.
But if Dwill is truly about winning a championship, his best bets would be Miami, OKC or Chicago. Problem is OKC and Chicago are set at the point, and Dwill's pride probably prevents him from accepting a min. contract w/Miami.
If I were Williams, I'd be taking a close look at the Lakers. Unless Sessions proves to be the answer, the Lakers may well have a hole at the point heading into this summer. Maybe Williams is intrigued w/playing with the league's most accomplished player in the Black Mamba and joining forces w/him and Bynum. I know the Lakers can't just sign Williams as a free agent, but maybe the Nets and Lakers work a trade for Gasol. At least the Nets don't lose Williams for nothing, and he moves on to an instant contender.
That would be my angle were I Williams, with Dallas as Option B.
Looking at it objectively, what would you do this summer if you were Williams?