Mavericks turn to Plan B after Deron Williams chooses Nets

Posted Tuesday, Jul. 03, 2012  comments  Print Reprints
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Brooklyn, baby

Deron Williams, a high school star in The Colony, will play for Brooklyn instead of Dallas. The Nets, suddenly a contender after also agreeing to a deal with Atlanta for guard Joe Johnson, also harbor hopes of landing Magic star Dwight Howard.

Will Nash be back at point?

Williams' decision could open the door for Steve Nash to return to Dallas. But Nash, 38, has a three-year, $36 million offer from the Raptors and has met with the Knicks. A report surfaced late Tuesday that the Mavs will pursue Jeremy Lin.

Jet could be taking off to Boston

Jason Terry's days with the Mavericks appear to be done. Terry on Tuesday agreed to a three-year, $15 million deal with the Celtics. The shooting guard could allow the Mavericks to match the offer, but it doesn't appear likely.

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Not much has gone right for the Dallas Mavericks since they won their first NBA title on June 12, 2011.

The Mavericks watched the NBA endure a long lockout, the Lamar Odom trade blow up in their faces and the Oklahoma City Thunder sweep them out of the first round of the playoffs.

More bad news slammed the Mavs on Tuesday when they learned that the hometown kid, point guard Deron Williams, has agreed to a five-year, $100 million contract with the Brooklyn Nets.

Williams announced his choice via Twitter when he tweeted: "Made a very tough decision today," with an attached black-and-white photo of the Nets' new logo.

The decision followed more bad news earlier in the day when free-agent guard Jason Terry agreed to a three-year, $15 million deal with the Boston Celtics.

Williams told the team he was accepting a five-year contract worth $98 million, a source told The Associated Press. Contracts can't be signed until July 11.

The NBA's top free agent this summer, Williams grew up in The Colony and said he was going to choose between the Mavs and Nets.

He chose the Nets.

The decision leaves the Mavs in Plan B mode because they failed to lure the player they so coveted. It leaves a void at point guard.

The Mavs are left to make pitches to 38-year-old Steve Nash, 39-year-old Jason Kidd, Goran Dragic (a backup with the Houston Rockets last season) and Brandon Roy, who sat out last season while recovering from serious knee injuries.

"J-Kidd is going to obviously make a decision here sometime soon after D-Will, and we'll see what happens," forward Dirk Nowitzki said.

Terry still could return to Dallas. He plans to give the Mavericks a chance to match the Celtics' offer.

"I don't know why they won't [match it]," a source close to the situation said.

But Nowitzki sounded as if he didn't think the Mavericks would match the offer. And that's not exactly good news, especially after the Mavs lost out on the Deron Williams Sweepstakes.

"I never thought either me or [Terry] would wear another uniform in our careers," Nowitzki said Saturday. "But if it comes down to it, we all understand it's a business.

"And if it comes to it, then it's going to be tough. But we've got to move on."

Terry should go down as one of the best clutch players in Mavericks history. He stepped up in Game 6 of the NBA Finals in 2011, scoring a game-high 27 points in the 105-95 victory that clinched the title.

Terry later accepted a role to come off the bench and won the NBA's Sixth Man Award in 2009.

But he turns 35 on Sept. 15, and it appears the Mavs are trying to get younger.

After winning the NBA title, the Mavericks put themselves in position to court Williams in free agency after not re-signing Tyson Chandler, J.J. Barea, DeShawn Stevenson and Caron Butler. The moves cleared salary cap space so they would be in prime position to make a run at a star player.

By keeping Williams, the Nets have put themselves in position to become one of the top contenders in the Eastern Conference.

On Monday, Brooklyn agreed to a deal with Atlanta for All-Star guard Joe Johnson. The Nets also have a deal in place to re-sign Gerald Wallace and continue to try to work out a deal with Orlando for Magic star Dwight Howard.

This report includes material from The Associated Press and online reports.

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @DwainPrice

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