Feb 28, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Deron Williams (8) passes the ball while defended by Dallas Mavericks guard Rajon Rondo (9) in the second quarter at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Deron Williams’ Dallas Mavericks ticket was always an inevitable and belonging homecoming.
As someone who was once considered strong competitor to Chris Paul in a run for the best point guard in the NBA, Williams saw a drop of his production after the Nets relocated their franchise to a more limelit neighborhood of Brooklyn.
Struggling to keep his ankles healthy, Williams only ran the floor 210 games in the last three seasons and took a hit in his offensive output (15.6 points and 6.9 assists a night). Just a few reasons why the Nets weren’t too determined to prolong their relationship with Williams any longer, and eventually finalized a mutual agreement to buyout Deron’s huge contract of nearly $42 million, per David Aldridge of NBA.com. A move which allows the Mavs to bring the Dallas native home for just $10 mil spread over two years.
At some point, the reported $5M a year might seem too good to be true. For comparison alone, Rajon Rondo almost doubles his salary with Sacramento Kings. And looking thoroughly, with an exception for players with rookie contracts, no starting point guards in the Western Conference come in with a cheaper deal than D-Will’s.
This deal is a bargain for a three-time All-Star who is still in his early 30s.
Heck. C.J. Watson (31) signed a new deal with the Orlando Magic worth the same as what Williams will reportedly take with the Mavs. A player who has never cracked more than 11 points a game and only averaged 20 minutes per game over his eight years of NBA career.
Does that make you feel better, knowing D-Will, seeking a fresh start with the Mavs comes on a very team-friendly contract?
Yes, Williams shot terribly the last two seasons, posting point averages that eclipsed only his rookie season. But it didn’t seem to disrupt his long-range shooting rhythm, which was surprisingly above the league average. And don’t even get me started on his incredible ball handling. On the other end defensively, standing at 6’3″, Deron was always viewed as a point guard who possess good defensive IQ and the ability to strip the ball from opposing ballhandlers.
What really comes through as a silver lining for the future above all is the two-year deal, which really comes in handy for Dallas when they look to add free agents next summer.
Notable players like Al Horford, DeMar DeRozan, Hassan Whiteside and *cough* Kevin Durant *cough* will command large salaries, especially when the cap explodes next year. This is where Deron’s cheap contract could really bring flexibility for the Mavs’ financially and hopefully could be an asset to attract those other big fishes to join the team.
This team, even with an addition of former All-Star Deron Williams, will still be finding it hard to contend for the seventh or eighth seed in the West. But Mark Cuban makes it clear the team is not tanking (thank you DeAndre Jordan!) and that we owe Dirk Nowitzki another shot for a playoff spot with a competitive roster.
But for a team whose hope was to see great floor general running the American Airlines Center faded away in Rajon Rondo, it’s not a bad idea to embrace this particular one with a killer crossover looking to flourish and start afresh with his hometown team.
And yes. It is a good time to buy a Deron Williams Dallas Mavericks jersey.