If Williams agrees to sign with the Mavs, Haywood very well could be released via the amnesty clause to clear cap space. Haywood, on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM's "Ben & Skin Show," said he's a big fan of the deal the Brooklyn Nets pulled off Monday to acquire Joe Johnson from the Atlanta Hawks, saying it will definitely give Williams something to think about.
"When I saw the deal I thought he would definitely have to consider staying just because Joe is that talented," Haywood said. "If you look at that team as constructed right now if they get D-Will back; if you give me D-Will, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, a big man at (power forward) and Brook Lopez at (center); people forget Brook Lopez averaged 20 points per game, he’s very valuable and he was hurt last year. That team right there, to me, is already the second-best team in the East, right behind Miami with (Chicago Bulls point guard) Derrick Rose recovering from that knee injury."
The 7-foot Haywood certainly has a future in broadcasting if not with the Mavs. He's still under contract for three more seasons at around $27 million, and if the Mavs do use the amnesty clause on him, the team will be on the hook for his full salary, but it will not count against the cap. Haywood is well aware of the D-Will ramifications.
"I follow it (free agency) very closely," Haywood said. "For me, I have to see who goes where to see if I’m even in Dallas next year. Guys like myself, Shawn Marion, we have to follow it closely because we have no idea if we’re going to be here or not."
Regardless of the Johnson acquisition, Haywood said not to discount the fact that the Nets can pay Williams about $25 million more than the Mavs. Even though Williams could potentially make up that money with a second max contract in Dallas, Haywood said players tend to look at the guaranteed money on the table at the moment.
"Most guys look at the money that’s guaranteed, where they can get the most money at," he said. "So, if they do the state income tax and it comes out where Dallas ends up almost the same thing, then maybe he comes to Dallas. But I don’t think the state income tax is going to save him $25 mil. So at the of the day, most guys look for where it’s the most guaranteed money because that’s the only thing you know for sure."
And then, of course, there's the ongoing Dwight Howard situation, and at least the slim possibility that the Nets could still acquire him in a trade with the Orlando Magic. Brendan, are you paying attention to the Dwightmare?
"I watch the Dwight Howard As-The-World-Turns saga every day to see what’s going to happen today: 'I’m coming, I’m staying, I want to go, I want to stay,' " Haywood said, mocking the Magic big man. "No one knows what’s going to happen up there. It’s something different every day."