Deron Williams is doing everything he can to put the Nets and their general manager Billy King at ease. But Williams also is letting King know he’s on the clock.
Williams met with beat reporters at a SoHo restaurant not long after he went on WFAN and declared, “My plan is to stay.” Williams said similar things to the writers after lunch.
His plan is to opt out after the season, but stay with the organization. He said he had a “strong feeling” that he would re-sign with the Nets next summer. But King has roughly eight months to turn a team that won 24 games last season into a championship contender.
The best way to leap tall buildings in a single bound is by acquiring Superman.
It’s not Dwight Howard or bust, but if King can make a deal with Orlando for the All-Star center the Nets can be assured that Williams will put his signature on a new, five-year, $101 million deal in July. Chances are, Williams said, Howard would, too.
This part could hardly be considered new or news to anyone, least of all King.
The Nets general manager knew he had to make a major move when he replaced Rod Thorn as president in July 2010 and that’s all King tried to do. He failed in getting Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony, but may probably get the best player of the bunch when King unexpectedly made the deal for Williams.
Now King, who is as competitive as anyone in the organization, will do whatever is necessary to entice Orlando to make a deal with the Nets involving Howard.
The Nets offer likely would start with Brook Lopez and two first-round picks and they almost certainly would have to take back Hedo Turkoglu and the three years and $35 million he has remaining on his contract.
It’s also possible the Nets will add more assets through free agency who also could be used at some point to sweeten a deal. They are targeting Nene, Tyson Chandler, Caron Butler and numerous other players to fill the spots at power forward/center, small forward and the bench.
The bottom line is this: Williams wants to play with Howard. He said he definitely would re-sign with the Nets if they got Howard. The Nets want to keep Williams and would love to get Howard.
Sounds like all the Nets need is for Orlando to agree to something eventually. No big deal, right?
King said he would keep all talks quiet because he doesn’t want the “circus-like atmosphere” that enveloped the Nets last year because of the ‘Melo Drama. It’s a safe bet that if King hasn’t spoken to Orlando GM Otis Smith yet he will in the near future.
This is one of the many reasons Williams is happy from what he’s seen and heard from the Nets since being traded to them in February. They have made everything about him and will do anything to keep him happy. Williams “can pick his teammates,” a source said recently.
“It definitely feels good to have that support,” Williams said. “I have a lot of input. They ask me about guys, about who I like to play with - so that’s great, any time management will come and ask you that type of stuff.”
Williams is the face of the franchise, the person they are promoting as they plan their move to Brooklyn. But he’s also someone who’s willing to share the spotlight, like all great point guards, and that’s what he wants to do.
Although Williams praised Lopez, Anthony Morrow and other players on the team, he knows he needs more in order to win.
“We have to get some big pieces that can build a championship,” he said.
The Nets are going to go after one of the biggest ones. Williams said it clearly. If Superman lands in this area, Williams will stay for sure. It’s not as easy as it sounds, but the Nets will work hard to get Howard or the pieces that will keep Williams around.
Follow me on Twitter: @Al_Iannazzone
Al Iannazzone covers the NBA for The Record (Bergen County, N.J.)