As expected, Deron Williams has officially decided not to pick up his player option for the 2012/13 season, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News (via Twitter). The decision means that Williams will hit unrestricted free agency this weekend, and will be eligible for a maximum salary of about $17.18MM, rather than the $17.78MM his option was worth, as I outlined here.
Here are a few more updates on this summer's top free agent:
- Williams turned 28 years old on Tuesday, and the Nets weren't about to forget his birthday. The team sent a truck with a birthday message on the side of it to Williams' home in Brooklyn, as his wife tweeted yesterday. According to ESPN.com's Chris Broussard, D-Will invited Nets coach Avery Johnson to an intimate birthday celebration of about eight people last night.
- Williams has been working out at the Nets' practice facility in New Jersey almost daily and has discussed strategies for next season with Johnson, perhaps indicating that he's leaning toward re-signing with the Nets, says Broussard.
- Broussard cautions that Williams has yet to make a decision, but says the point guard hopes to decide on a team before he reports to Olympic training on July 5th.
- Williams is not planning to meet with or visit any teams, says Broussard. That could be bad news for the Rockets, who are reportedly trying to clear the cap space to make a run at the 28-year-old. Yesterday, we heard that Williams is unlikely to seriously consider the Rockets, even if Houston can acquire Dwight Howard.