NBA@2: The Deron Williams Dilemma
As much as the last 18 hours has been an emotional roller coaster for the Orlando Magic, it’s been an even wilder ride for the New Jersey Nets. One minute they are salivating at the idea that they’re going to get their crack at All-Star center Dwight Howard this summer, the next they are terrified that they’re going to lost their own All-Star if Howard stays in Orlando for the foreseeable future.
Now that Howard has committed to the Magic for next season (it wasn’t erasable ink on that contract, was it?), the Nets are in full damage control mode regarding point guard Deron Williams. With the news that Howard has officially opted in for the 2012-13 season in Orlando, the Nets are frantically searching for a way to prove to Williams that he can win and win big as a Net.
The clock’s ticking, as Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban already has a plan mapped out in Dallas, and sources close to the situation have told HOOPSWORLD in no uncertain terms that Williams has every intention of returning to his home town of Dallas to chase a championship with Dirk Nowitzki in the wake of Jason Kidd’s likely retirement.
I’ll take a moment to put a qualifier on that previous statement. While our source is “positive” and is definitely someone who would know, I don’t know how anyone can be positive of anything in the age of athlete indecision.
One way or the other, the Nets know they have to get something significant done before free agency starts to avoid losing Deron Williams. If they can’t, they’re looking at a significant step back in their rebuilding process as they prepare for life in a new arena and in a new city.
The Nets may be the next team faced with the difficult decision of trading a player before that player has a chance to walk away and leave them empty-handed.
John Wall Picks UK, Calipari
John Wall talks with HOOPSWORLD about KU’s chances in the Big Dance, point guard Marquis Teague, Coach Cal possibly coaching the Wizards, and more in this exclusive interview!
Indiana Pacers Leading The Way
The NBA trade deadline is always a hectic time, but seldom has it been quite as hectic as the 2012 deadline turned out to be. The Dwight Howard drama would have been enough, but with Indiana, Memphis, Toronto, Portland, New Jersey, Milwaukee, Golden State, and Philadelphia already in the books with deals and at least half a dozen other trades likely to get done before the deadline passes, it’s been a silly afternoon in the NBA.
As of this writing, the best deal of the day goes to the Indiana Pacers, who ended their months-long search for a shooting guard when they acquired Leandro Barbosa from the Toronto Raptors. The Pacers previously chased after Jamal Crawford, Courtney Lee and O.J. Mayo in their quest to shore up the two-guard position, but the availability of Barbosa came somewhat out of left field.
Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo has repeatedly expressed his desire to keep Barbosa long-term, so it came as somewhat of a surprise that he was willing to part with the Brazilian Blur. Barbosa is averaging 12.1 points on the season and brings an element of uncertainty and unpredictability to the game, something the Pacers look forward to adding to their mix.
Again, as of this writing, this looks like the deal that could turn out to have the biggest positive impact on a team after the deadline, but more trades are being announced and we’ll revisit this subject in this space tomorrow.
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NBA Chats: There are three NBA chats today starting with Steve Kylers weekly NBA Rumors Chat at 10:30am EST. Senior NBA writer Joel Brigham will host his weekly NBA Chat at 1:30pm EST. Joel covers the Central Division for HOOPSWORLD. We will also host a Trade Deadline Wrap-Up chat at 6pm EST featuring Steve Kyler, Bill Ingram and Alex Kennedy – look for the link later today. You can always find the next chat here: Upcoming NBA Chats. If you are looking for a completed chat, check the Chat Archive.