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Mavs Worried D-Will Dream Over

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February 26, 2012; Orlando FL, USA; Eastern Conference guard Deron Williams (8) of the New Jersey Nets warms up before the 2012 NBA All-Star Game at the Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
February 26, 2012; Orlando FL, USA; Eastern Conference guard Deron Williams (8) of the New Jersey Nets warms up before the 2012 NBA All-Star Game at the Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Ken Berger reports that the Mavericks are now "worried" that their pleas to Deron Williams have fallen deaf ears and that he will announce that he's staying with the Nets once free agency begins next week. Signing Williams has been the cornerstone of Mark Cuban's planned rebuilding for a year.

"Four rival executives and a fifth person familiar with Williams' thinking told CBSSports.com Tuesday that the Mavericks are becoming increasingly worried that the All-Star point guard will stay with the Nets when the free-agent floodgates open Sunday," the CBS Sports writer reports.

Sneaker executives had thought Dallas was in the lead as recently as last week, but now that's changed.

In his most optimistic line, Berger writes, "It's clear that the Mavs now view themselves as a dark horse as opposed to the favorite. Maybe the next time the Nets back up a truck to Williams' apartment, it'll be filled with $100 million.