Deron Williams, who Billy King and Mikhail Prokhorov risked everything on 16 months ago, has agreed to sign an extension with the Nets that will put him in a Brooklyn Nets uniform for the next five years.
In a dramatic tweet posted just after 7 p.m. Sunday, Williams wrote,
"Made a very tough decision today"... and attached an image of the Nets' new Brooklyn logo.
For executives and fans alike, the decision marked the end of a long period of anxiety over whether the three-time All-Star and two-time All-NBA point guard would stay or go when his player option came up this week.
As Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted, "Huge coup for Nets, who have dealt with a lot of star rejection the past two years. Billy King’s gamble to trade for Williams has paid off." Chad Ford, who had twice called for King to be fired, had this to say Tuesday night, "Billy King took a huge gamble when he traded for Deron Williams. Huge kudos to King and Nets for keeping him."
The decision was never a no-brainer. Unlike his friend, Jason Kidd, Williams first two years in New Jersey were filled with losses, an ugly string of injuries and a near-empty arena.
Williams had been pursued by various teams, but most notably his hometown Dallas Mavericks. In the end, though, Williams chose the Brooklyn Nets who would provide him with more money, the opportunity to be the face of a new franchise --and billion dollar arena-- as well as the basketball and financial resources provided by the world's richest sportsman.
The decision came in the middle of the most active week in franchise history as the team received commitments from him and another All-Star Gerald Wallace, traded for an six-time All-Star in Joe Johnson and vigorously pursued one of the game's great players, Dwight Howard.
Moments after Williams announced, his wife Amy, who is said to have a love affair with the city, posted an image of the Brooklyn Bridge, with the message, "Will be running over this bridge a lot in the next couple years!"
Under NBA rules, the Nets cannot officially acknowledge Williams decision until the end of the 11-day moratorium July 11, when he is expected to sign his agreement, which could be worth as much as $108 million, $25+ million more than the Mavericks could offer.
Williams now turns his attention to winning his second gold medal for Team USA. Olympians gather in Las Vegas this weekend for training camp.
- Deron Williams re-signs with Nets - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Deron Williams staying with Brooklyn Nets, All-Star point guard will open Barclays Center - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
Deron Williams chooses the Nets; announces decision on Twitter - Colin Stephenson - Star-Ledger
- GameTime: Deron Williams (Video) - NBA TV
Deron Williams Staying with Nets, Says Deron Williams - Will Leitch - New York Magazine
- Deron Williams chooses Brooklyn Nets, signs five-year, $100M deal - Sam Amick - Sports Illustrated
- Nets get their man as Williams re-signs - Zach Lowe - The Point Forward
- Deron Williams chooses Brooklyn Nets, agrees to five-year deal - Ken Berger - CBS Sports
Deron Williams has chosen Brooklyn Nets over hometown Dallas Mavericks - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York