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Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Johnson: D-Will quote 'twisted' around

By Mike Mazzeo

Nets coach Avery Johnson was upset and felt his words were "twisted" after he told the media he considered the Mavericks "a threat" to sign All-Star point guard Deron Williams in the offseason.

Johnson said the media focused only on that part of the comments he made Monday, not the other part in which he said he expects D-Will to re-sign.

"Anybody that's under the cap would be a threat to get a guy that's an unbelievable point guard," Johnson told reporters in Dallas on Tuesday night before the Nets beat the Mavericks 93-92.

"But I said I believe he has every intention to re-sign with us because he's involved with what we're doing at the Barclays Center. He spends a lot of time with us behind the scenes. I can go on and on. His brother's going to be going to prep school in our area. So I think because of that I said he has every intention to re-sign with us.

"Somebody kind of got it twisted where the focus was more on the 'threat' and saying that I said that I think he's going to Dallas. Which I never said. Never said that."

On Monday, in response to a question about his former boss, Mavs owner Mark Cuban, being a potential suitor for Williams, Johnson said:

"He's a threat, OK? I know the guy. I think because of the success he's had -- and I know he got criticized a lot for quote-unquote having all those years where he didn't win a championship -- but he's had some great success here that rivals any situation. So that's a threat."

Of course, Johnson wasn’t saying anything wrong by calling the Mavericks a "threat." Even GM Billy King admitted as much during an interview on ESPN 1050 New York on Tuesday afternoon.

Still, King said he wasn’t concerned.

"It's not a fear, it's a reality," King said. "The Mavs will have cap space along with other teams and [Williams is] from Dallas. I don't think it's any secret, but I'm not fearful of them."

Williams has said he is open to staying with the Nets once they move to Brooklyn next season as long as they put the right pieces around him and he feels like he has a legitimate opportunity to win a championship there.

"I'm not concerned," King said. "I'm looking forward to having Deron in a Brooklyn Nets uniform next year."