Deron Williams finally returned to his hometown last night, playing at the American Airlines Center in Dallas for the first time since he turned down the Mavericks in favor of the Nets last summer. Although Brooklyn rolled to a 113-96 win, it's still too early to tell whether Williams and the Nets or Mark Cuban and the Mavericks will be the long-term winners of D-Will's free agent decision, writes Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News. Here are a few more Mavs-related notes:
- Within Townsend's piece, Cuban notes that the Nets' current situation – well over the tax and still not quite a legit title contender – is one the Mavs wanted to avoid. "That’s the position we didn’t want to be in," Cuban said. "Not talking about any one player, but that’s why we were concerned in our approach because if you sign a max-out guy, well, you get to a point where you’re above that tax plus $4MM, you’re limited."
- The Mavericks announced yesterday in a press release that Rodrigue Beaubois underwent surgery on his left hand. With no timetable set for Beaubois' return, it appears he has played his last game of the season, and possibly his last game as a Maverick — the fourth-year guard is eligible for free agency this summer. The Mavs could make him a restricted FA by making him a qualifying offer, but I think the team will likely let him become unrestricted.
- Ben Golliver and Rob Mahoney of SI.com examine the Western Conference's current lottery teams, answering a variety of questions about which teams have bright or dim futures. The Mavs earn a dishonorable mention from Mahoney, who says Dallas might have "the bleakest future relative to franchise expectations."