"Based on the new rules, it doesn't make any sense for him to sign the extension," Jeff Schwartz told The Bergen (N.J.) Record. "It has nothing to do with how much he likes New Jersey. Because of the rules, he's going to play the season out and opt out of his deal."
Sources close to the team said the Nets aren't concerned by the news, saying they knew it was going to happen.
It is not surprising that Williams would take this route. He can earn roughly $30 million more by opting out at the end of the season and re-signing with the Nets, if that's what he decides to do.
Williams echoed those thoughts on Twitter.
"Don't know why people are tripping just bc I'm opting out doesn't mean that I won't resign with the nets! W/ new CBA it makes sense," a post on his Twitter account read.
According to the new CBA, when it is ratified, Williams can sign a two-year extension during the season that would be tacked on to the two years left on his current contract, bringing the total value of the deal to approximately four years and $70 million.
If he waits until after the season, he could get a contract for five years worth $100 million from the Nets, or a four-year, $70 million deal from anybody else.
Williams returned to the United States Wednesday after playing with Besiktas of the Turkish league for the past 1½ months.
Thursday was the first day NBA players could return to team facilities to work out, but only Johan Petro showed up at the Nets' facility.
The team is currently doing everything it can to retain Williams long-term as it heads for Brooklyn and the $1 billion Barclays Center in 2012-13.
Sources told ESPN.com Marc Stein earlier this week that the Nets were putting together a package of players and draft picks in an effort to acquire Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard, which would give the team two superstars.
Nets general manager Billy King told reporters Wednesday that he has not had any contact with Orlando GM Otis Smith, but did state his intention to be aggressive this offseason.
The Nets are pursuing free-agent centers Nene and Tyson Chandler, and also would be open to adding Portland Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy if he is waived via the amnesty clause, sources told ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard.
Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.