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The Deron Williams Math Quiz

Al Iannazzone's recent tweet crystallized the Nets' situation as free agency heats up: "Though expect Deron to opt out, he could re-sign. They're going to BKN, have $$$$$, and as source said "he can pick his teammates."

When would it be smart(est) for Deron Williams to sign with the Nets? As Iannazzone explained Thursday, Williams can get a two-year extension from the Nets now for roughly $39 million. That would be tacked on to the two years, $31 million he has remaining on his deal. If Williams opts out in June, he could get five years and about $101 million from the Nets, or four years and $73 million somewhere else.

So, by waiting six months, Williams can make $40 million more over five years. And when he faces the choice of signing with the Nets or another team in July, he'll be looking at a difference of $28 million. As for the other parts of the tweet, the most intriguing is picking his own teammates. As Billy King has noted, he and D-Will texted a lot before the lockout about prospects.

But will the uncertainty of Williams' situation hurt the Nets' pursuit of other free agents? Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Caron Butler's preference is to sign with the Bulls or Clippers, in part because, as a source close to Butler puts it, "He isn't sure about Deron Williams' future in New Jersey, and having a chance to win will be a big part of this."

Bulls beat writer K.C. Johnson tweets that Butler is in Chicago and has told someone close to him that, "I hope I don't have to leave."