Deron Williams has mentioned since his free agent decision in early July that he came very close to signing with the Mavericks rather than the Nets. And according to D-Will, if it weren't for the Nets' move to Brooklyn, he almost certainly wouldn't be back with the team this season.
"It was a huge factor," Williams told Tony Manfred of Business Insider. "I don't think I would have even thought about staying if [the Nets were] staying in New Jersey."
Williams' stance may not come as a surprise, but as Manfred notes, it's another reminder of the impact a larger market can have on the free agent decisions of NBA stars. Here are a few more Tuesday morning items from around the Atlantic Division:
- Williams is "definitely open" to playing for Team USA at the 2014 World Cup of Basketball, according to an Associated Press report (via NBA.com).
- The Knicks figure to hire an assistant coach to replace the departing Kenny Atkinson, and Lasalle Thompson is a leading candidate, according to Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com.
- Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com shares his top five picks for Knicks-related storylines that just won't go away.
- In a recent interview in China, Kevin Garnett discussed his last few years with the Celtics, including the end of the Big Three era. Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com passes along video of the conversation.
- Forsberg and Greg Payne of ESPNBoston.com take a shot at predicting how Jared Sullinger's rookie season for the Celtics will play out.