DALLAS -- That loud noise last night was a celebration coming from the bowels of American Airlines Center.
When the Brooklyn Nets failed to win Wednesday's NBA Draft Lottery and the top pick that could have landed them Kentucky phenom Anthony Davis, it increased the Dallas Mavericks' chances of acquiring Nets point guard Deron Williams this summer.
Williams plans to opt out of the final year of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. The native of The Colony wants to test the free-agent market and receive all the love and adulation from other teams that comes with a player of his stature.
The Mavericks are one of the teams salivating at the prospects of obtaining Williams. With 39-year-old Jason Kidd a free agent and third-year point guard Rodrigue Beaubois too inconsistent, the Mavericks believe Williams is the playmaker to pair with Dirk Nowitzki and help them capture a few more championships.
"He's a very talented player," forward Shawn Marion said of Williams. "This is his home. It would be nice for him to come back and play here, but you never know."
Kidd has gone on record as saying he would not mind re-signing and being a backup to Williams. If the Mavericks are able to pull that off, then they no longer would be suffering a setback at point guard when they go to the bench.
"Oh, I can definitely back him up," Kidd said. "That's an easy job. I can be a penalty killer, minutes killer. I'll just have to watch a little hockey and figure out how to kill time, but I could definitely accept that role."
A three-time All-Star, Williams averaged 21 points and 8.7 assists last season for the Nets and has averaged 17.6 points and 9.2 assists during his eight-year career. Williams turns 28 on June 26 and, along with Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook and Rajon Rondo, is easily one of the best point guards in the NBA.
"I think he's a helluva player," Marion said. "He's one of the best point guards in the league -- easily top three, by far."
The Mavericks, who were swept in the first round of the playoffs this season by the Oklahoma City Thunder, know they need a top-flight point guard in order to contend for a title.
Three of the four teams remaining in the playoffs have top-flight playmakers -- San Antonio (Tony Parker), the Thunder (Westbrook) and Boston (Rondo). The fourth team, the Miami Heat, often use LeBron James and Dwyane Wade to initiate their offense.
Had the Nets won Wednesday's draft lottery, they would have secured a major chip that could have helped them persuade Williams to re-sign. They probably could have also used the pick to complete a trade and bring Orlando's Dwight Howard to Brooklyn.
But the New Orleans Hornets ended up winning the lottery. And that wound up being a victory for the Mavericks, who have the salary-cap space to make this a comfortable homecoming for Williams while trying to win yet another NBA title.
"For the most part there are a lot of guys out there, there are a lot of pieces out there we can go out there and put together another run," Marion said. "That's what's it's about.
"I'd love to have a twin to match my single [championship] ring. As long as I've got that competitive nature and that fight in me, I'm going to be there."
Marion just hopes Williams is there with him. What transpired Wednesday was a step in the right direction of possibly making that happen.
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760