One of the primary points of contention and emphasis during the NBA lockout was what to do, if anything, about implementing structural changes that in effect blocked superstar players from teaming up to make “super teams.” With the rumors swirling about Chris Paul and the Knicks, and Dwight Howard essentially out the door in Orlando if the Nets have anything to say about, the NBA definitely identified a strategic time to go about addressing the problem. Deron Williams is the most important piece to the Nets future moving forward. He really dictates the pace of the franchise with his decision at the end of the season. Williams will not be signing a contract extension with the Nets purely because it’s not a smart move financially and it has nothing to do with the franchise. Williams has expressed his dream to play with Dwight Howard in the following interview and only time will tell if Brooklyn next year will be the destination where it happens. Deron Williams joined WFAN in New York with Joe and Evan to discuss staying with the Nets at the end of the year, the players he would prefer the Nets to sign in free agency, staying with the Nets if they land Dwight Howard, opting out of his contract right now because it was the smart move to make with the new CBA, the chances of signing with the New York Knicks, being close with Dwight Howard, who he thinks Dwight Howard will sign with, Dwight Howard signing with the Nets, the one player he would love to play with, Dwight Howard being traded and the likelihood that he will be a member of the Nets when they move to Brooklyn next year.
Now let’s get down to it. Are you going to stay at the end of the year? Are you thinking about other options?
“My plan is to stay. Hopefully we can get some good talent to where I can stay because I think this is a great organization. They are heading in a great direction especially with the move to Brooklyn – the new arena – everything is in place. I think we are going to get players. I think guys are going to want to come play in Brooklyn and play with me.”
Do you have a preference for who you want on this team? Let’s be honest Billy King is going to listen to what you say:
“I might not tell you anything when it comes to that either. We talked a lot before the lockout. I haven’t been able to talk with him at all during the lockout, but I got to talk to him today for a couple of minutes before I came here, but we got some guys. [Evan Roberts: Do you need bigs?] We need a center to go with Brook Lopez. I think Brook could play the four for us. They are both [Tyson Chandler and Nene] good players. You can’t really go wrong with either one of those guys. They are both very talented big men. They both bring a little bit of different styles.”
If the Nets land Dwight Howard is it fair to say you will be a Net next year?
“I think if you are a point guard and you play with Dwight Howard and you decide to leave you are not very smart.”
When it came out that would opt out of your contract at the end of the year my first reaction was well Deron Williams isn’t an idiot. I saw the CBA. You are going to make less money. You could sign for less years if you sign now.
How much of that goes into it? This new CBA makes it better for you to opt out:
“Well that’s exactly – that’s what it was. Financially it makes sense for me to opt out. There’s no reason to sign an extension right now barring an injury. I should be able to make that money back. It has nothing to do with the Nets. I like I said I love the organization. The organization is great. My preference would be stay here for the future. We’ll see how it goes this year. We’ll see in the next couple of days. It’s going to be crazy. It’s going to be a whirlwind the next couple of days.”
Is there a chance you would go to the Knicks?
“That would be very unlikely.”
How close are you with Dwight Howard? Are you guys buddies?
“We talk quite a bit.”
What do you think Dwight Howard is going to do? Is he going to stay in Orlando?
“I don’t know. [Evan Roberts: Has he ever mentioned it would be cool to play with you?] We’ve talked. I am not going to get into what we talk about, but we’ve talked at times.”
Do you think Dwight Howard would sign with the Nets?
“I don’t know. I haven’t talked to him lately, so I don’t know.”
Who’s the one player you would love to play with?
“I think it would probably be Dwight Howard. I think he is the most dominant big man in the game right now. Safe to say.”
Do you think Dwight Howard will be traded?
“I don’t know anything. I haven’t been talking – I couldn’t tell you. That’s why I said it’s going to be crazy because I think it could be a lot of guys moving teams and the NBA could be looking totally different with the amnesty and all that. You don’t know who is going to get amnestied. You just hear talks. Rumors don’t mean much to me. Sources. That doesn’t mean much to me. When I see stuff happen that is when I will know.”