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Monday, October 8, 2012
D-Will: Cuban snub swayed me to stay

By Mike Mazzeo

It wasn’t just the Joe Johnson trade that swayed Deron Williams to pick the Nets over the Mavericks this offseason.

On July 2, Williams met Mavericks brass in New York. He just never met with their owner, Mark Cuban.

Cuban was in California shooting an episode of “Shark Tank,” so D-Will never got a chance to ask him any questions about the organization’s future.

Meanwhile, Nets GM Billy King had told the free-agent point guard of his plans to acquire Johnson, among other moves. So D-Will decided to stay in Brooklyn, rather than bolt for Dallas.

“Of course,” Williams responded when asked if Cuban’s absence affected his decision, according to the Daily News’ Stefan Bondy. “My top four when I was coming out of high school was Illinois, Georgia Tech, Tennessee and Maryland.

“Maryland told me they wanted me to come on a visit, but Gary Williams wouldn’t be there. So I told them, ‘It’s okay. I’d rather not go.’ So that was that. It’s similar.”

Continued D-Will:

“I think (Cuban) would have been able to answer a lot of the questions me and my agent have for him that really didn’t get answered that day pertaining to the future. And I think if he was there he would have been able to answer those questions a little bit better. It maybe would have helped me.

“(I wanted to hear about) the direction of the future of the team, other than Dirk (Nowitzki). Players they were thinking about. Everything was basically just their track record, trust their track record, which is, you know, I can honor that, because they do have a good track record but it’s not enough for me, especially when Billy was updating me daily.”

Williams tweeted that he was staying with the Nets on July 3.

Cuban has since said that the Mavericks, who signed Darren Collison, Elton Brand, Chris Kaman and O.J. Mayo in free agency, are better off without D-Will.

Granted, the Nets feel they’re better off with D-Will than say Steve Nash or Goran Dragic.