The NBA lockout may not officially be over just yet, and training camps have yet to open, but the rumor mill is already circulating in full force. Over the weekend the New York press started beating the drum of Chris Paul going to the Knicks. Now the story picking up some noise on the news wire is the Nets making an offer to Dwight Howard. Billy King sounds confident in the Nets chances of talking Deron Williams into a contract extension by the time they move to Brooklyn next season. That would be a huge factor in possibly landing Dwight Howard, but didn’t the owners just have a lockout with the idea of stopping superstar players from aligning to make super teams? Folks let’s also remember now the Nets were “getting” LeBron James in the summer of 2010 because of Mikhail Prokhorov. Then the Nets were “close” to getting Carmelo Anthony during the NBA trade deadline last season.
Will the Nets land the big fish that is Dwight Howard this time around?
Billy King joined WFAN in New York with Joe and Evan to discuss Deron Williams staying with the Nets if the team wins immediately, Kris Humphries being a top priority to bring back this season, the report that the Nets are preparing to make Dwight Howard an offer, the status of Deron Williams’s contract extension, the possibility of trading Deron Williams right away if he doesn’t want to sign an extension and being confident that Deron Williams will sign a contract extension.
Is winning now going to be the key factor in Deron Williams staying with the Nets and signing a contract extension?
“I think when we made a trade to get Deron that moved it up where winning is even more of a priority. Last year we were really young when we started the season. We were in that rebuilding mode, but now you have a player like Deron. You have Brook Lopez. I mean the goal is to win. Our goal is to try to put a product on the court that we can get ourselves in the playoffs. It’s not just about for Deron. I think it’s for our fans and me and Avery Johnson. We are competitive. I want to win.”
How much of a priority is it to bring back Kris Humphries since the team needs a big man?
“I spoke to Marc Cornstein, his agent. I guess we could talk at 9 a.m. I was on the phone by 9:05 a.m. letting him know our interest in him.”
Would you like to comment on the report this morning that you are preparing an offer to Dwight Howard?
“[Laughs] This amazing thing is I have not had a conversation with Orlando in about a year. To wake up and see that is like ‘Wow.’ Then I try to figure within the new rules again how does that even happen? Sometimes you wake up and you read things and it’s pretty interesting.”
When is Deron Williams available to sign an extension? Do you think he will immediately? Do you think he will wait?
“He is eligible now. I am waiting for a lot of the rules to come in for how long that period is or whatever it is going to be, but he’s able to. I have not had a conversation with his reps about that at the present time because we only started talking today, but in due time we will have that conversation.”
If Deron Williams doesn’t sign that extension right away will you start to worry about that? Would you consider trading Deron Williams if he doesn’t sign an extension right away?
Are you confident that Deron Williams will sign an extension?
“Fortunately I was around him quite a bit before July 1st and I felt pretty good. I still feel pretty good because we have a lot of things going for him. We got a brand new building that will be opening next season. He can be the face of a franchise in a major market, so I think there is a lot of positives in our situation for him. In the other situations those guys have been with those teams for awhile. They may want to look. They may not. I don’t know.”