D-Will: JJ Trade Made The Difference; Calls Brooklyn "Rejuvenation" Move For Himself, Johnson and Wallace

May 4, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard/forward Joe Johnson (2) controls the ball during the third quarter of game three against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden. The Boston Celtics won 90-84 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE

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,

Kidd told WFAN that as of a week ago, Deron Williams had decided to join the Mavericks, but that the Nets' moves early this week, particularly the trade for Joe Johnson on Tuesday, turned him around and got him "excited" about Brooklyn.

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."

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