Williams and Mavs Fit Each Other’s Needs
DALLAS – The Mavs are ‘moving forward’ by doing an about-face on Deron Williams, the free agent who once spurned them and his hometown. But now? All involved parties need each other.
The Dallas Mavericks were devastated by the DeAndre Jordan defection. So … “Team Tank”? Nope. They follow up on the yes from Wes Matthews by fulfilling their financial promise to him. They trade an almost-non-existent second-round pick for Zaza Pachulia to help at center.
“No,” owner Mark Cuban said when DallasBasketball.com asked him the other morning about “Team Tank.” “We’ve added Wes … we’re getting a center (in addition to Zaza, I think) … We are not (tanking). We’re moving forward.”
And now they are “moving forward”… and he’s movin’ home (complete with music!) by doing an about-face on Deron Williams.
The Mavs absolutely, positively have NEVER “prioritized” Deron Willams, the overpaid Nets point guard who was, a few years back, Dallas’ big-fish target. Sources told me a week ago, in fact, that Williams was “fourth on our list” of prospective pickups — and of course that was only in the event that the Nets waived him, as Dallas was obviously unwilling and unable to absorb the two years and $42 million left on his existing contract.
So there were three point guards ranked on Dallas’ “Available” board above Deron. But while the Mavs necessarily fiddled wirh DeAndre, Jeremy Lin bolted for Charlotte. And Mo Williams signed with Cleveland. And Cory Joseph went home to Toronto.
During the 2012 offseason, The Mavericks and The Brooklyn Nets fought for the services of DFW native Williams, with the Nets ultimately winning out. Three years later, after a disappointing couple of seasons for Brooklyn, D-Will and the Nets finalized a buyout of his contract, allowing the Mavericks to sign the 31-year-old to a two-year $10-million contract after the player clears waivers (which will be Monday).
Williams, who in the last two seasons has averaged 13.7 points and 6.4 assists per game for Brooklyn, will look for a fresh start with the Mavs, who are in desperate need of help in the backcourt. Williams, however, has had difficulty keeping his ankles healthy recently, causing him to miss 32 games in the last two seasons. Because of these injuries, Williams has lost a bit of what made him such a dynamic player earlier in his career, but the Mavs can still use a guard with his skill set.
D-Will possesses elite court vision, is a good perimeter shooter and plays the pick-and-roll very well as a halfcourt guy. Defensively, Williams is more than serviceable as well, as he possesses great timing when defending passing lanes, as well as the strength to guard bigger guards when called upon to do so.
While the phrase ‘D-Will to Dallas’ won’t cause nearly as much excitement for Mavs fans as it would have three years ago, this move will provide a much needed boost for the Mavs backcourt.
So Deron is coming home, after achieving a buyout in Brooklyn and escaping “home” to a DFW he once said he wanted no part of (for just $10 mil spread over two years.) And Mark Cuban is embracing a player he once said he never really wanted, anyway.
Why? Because they need each other.