Report: Without Howard, Williams Walks
All-Star point guard Deron Williams has made one decision about his free agency: If the Brooklyn Nets win the No. 1 pick in the NBA’s draft lottery on Wednesday night – and the chance to secure Kentucky center Anthony Davis – it won’t be enough for Williams to sign a contract extension, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
“It’s Dwight Howard or bust,” said a league source who has spoken to Williams.
Williams doesn’t want to stay with the Nets unless they become an instant Eastern Conference contender and wouldn’t accept waiting for Davis’ development. The Nets have a 7.5 percent chance of winning the lottery, and sources said the organization would be willing to part with Davis for the chance to pair Howard and Williams for the franchise’s move into a new Brooklyn arena next season.
For the Nets to beat the odds and get the rights to draft Davis, they believe that they’ll be able to hold onto forward Brook Lopez in a potential deal with Orlando. Howard regrets forgoing his early termination option on his 2012-13 contract, sources said, and wants a trade before next season. Nevertheless, the Nets become far less appealing should Williams leave in July as a free agent, so Howard’s camp is applying pressure on Orlando to expedite a deal once it hires a new general manager.