Deron Williams’ message has stayed consistent all along.
He wants to be a Net, and he thinks he’ll stay assuming the team can put a title contender around him.
Might he change his mind? Sure.
Once he opts out of his contract at the end of the 2011-12 season, he’ll become a free agent, and with that comes the freedom to play anywhere -- whether it be in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas or any place else.
But as you can already tell, the Nets are doing everything in their power to alleviate any concerns Williams has about his future with the franchise.
This week, several free agents -- including Tyson Chandler Nene and Caron Butler -- will visit the Nets’ practice facility as the organization attempts to persuade them to team up with D-Will in Jersey. The Nets will also keep a watchful eye on what’s going on in Orlando with superstar center Dwight Howard.
And the best part is, Williams will have a say in all of it. Nets GM Billy King has been in frequent conversation with his superstar point guard about future personnel decisions.
This really is Williams’ team -- in every aspect.
The Nets have a decent foundation featuring Williams, 23-year-old Brook Lopez, sharpshooter Anthony Morrow and rookie swingman Marshon Brooks, but there is still a lot of work that needs to be done.
The Nets need a compliment to Lopez in the frontcourt (Nene or Chandler would certainly fit that bill), an upgrade over Travis Outlaw at small forward (assuming they amnesty him) and some serious depth help off the bench (Jordan Farmar, Brooks, Johan Petro and Jordan Williams aren’t exactly going to cut it). Luckily, they have upwards of $22-23 million (if they let go of Outlaw and renounce Kris Humphries’ cap hold) to fill all those needs. Meanwhile, they need to reiterate to Lopez that they’re committed to him for the long-haul -- even if they’d deal him for Howard in a heartbeat.
What is almost certain is that by the time the offseason ends, the Nets are going to look like a better team on paper heading into the 2011-12 campaign than they did heading into the 2010-11 one.
Then it’s just a matter of Williams staying healthy for 66 games, finding chemistry with the players surrounding him and making a playoff run. After all, the Nets will always be able to pay Williams more than anyone else. But when it comes down to it, it’s about winning more than anything else.
If Williams feels like he can win going into Brooklyn he’ll stay. If not, then he may change his mind and go.
Still, the Nets have to like their chances going forward. Based on what Williams has consistently said for a while now, why shouldn’t they?