Deron Williams confirmed to reporters in Las Vegas Friday that he was closer to signing with the Mavericks than most believed. He was responding to comments made earlier in the day by Jason Kidd on WFAN,
Asked about Kidd's comments at the Team USA training camp, Williams said Johnson had indeed made the difference. "I was really close to going to Dallas. Joe got me over the hump. It came down to where I had a chance to win ... As far as basketball, the direction [the Nets are] going and they’re willing to spend money swayed me the other way."
The Nets opened their presentation to Williams Monday with word that they had just completed the deal with Atlanta. Williams had met with the Mavericks early that day as the Nets and Hawks were putting finishing touches on the deal that sent five expiring contracts and a first round pick to Atlanta.
Williams called Brooklyn's moves a "rejuvenation" opportunity for himself, Gerald Wallace and Johnson. Nets officials long knew Williams would occasionally stray from Brooklyn toward going home to Dallas, but believed all along he would re-sign with them.
In the radio interview Kidd also said that he and his agent spoke with the Nets about returning but it "just didn't work out." Kidd is believed to have wanted the MLE, but the team had committed that already to Mirza Teletovic, who ironically (or not) shares the same agent as Williams and Kidd, Jeff Schwartz. The Nets former captain said he thought the Nets-Knicks rivalry would help both clubs. "I would have loved to go back to the Nets, especially going to Brooklyn," he said. "But I think it's going to be a good rivalry, Knicks and Nets."
- Johnson Trade Helped Sway Deron Williams to Return to the Nets - Nate Taylor - New York Times
- Deron Williams: Nets getting Joe Johnson was key to me re-signing - Al Iannazzone - New York Newsday
Williams swayed to Brooklyn by trade - Marc Berman - New York Post
- Deron Williams: Trade made me stay - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Deron Williams: Trade sealed deal in Brooklyn - Jeff Caplan - ESPN Dallas
Williams: Johnson acquisition convinced me to re-sign with Nets - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
Kidd said Williams talked him into leaving Mavericks for Knicks - Justin Terranova - New York Post
Newest Knick Jason Kidd Joins Joe & Evan (Audio) - Evan Roberts & Joe Benigno - WFAN