SATURDAY, 2:33pm: The Nets have waived Williams, the team announced in a press release.
5:22pm: It appears that Brooklyn will waive Williams using the stretch provision, and he will receive $27.5MM spread out over five years from the team, Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.com tweets. This means that Williams will count as roughly $5.5MM against the salary cap through the 2019/20 season for the Nets.
4:13pm: The point guard’s buyout is expected to drop the value of his contract to the $25-$30MM range, Stein tweets.
4:05pm: Williams is expected to sign a two-year deal with the Mavericks in the $10MM range after he clears waivers, Marc Stein of ESPN.com tweets.
4:01pm: The Nets and Williams have reached an agreement on a buyout arrangement, David Aldridge of TNT reports (on Twitter). The details of the agreement are not yet known.
8:46am: Sources who spoke with Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News this past season believed that he wanted to leave the Nets so much that he would opt out a year from now (Twitter link). The early termination option on Williams’ contract for 2016/17 is worth more than $22.331MM. Meanwhile, the Nets haven’t been pleased with the point guard’s attitude or declining production, notes Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
2:44am: The Nets have opened buyout talks with Deron Williams, and the point guard holds a strong mutual interest in signing with the Mavericks if he becomes a free agent this summer, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com. One source who spoke to Stein gave it a 60-70% chance that the Jeff Schwartz client ends up with Dallas.
Williams was the prime target of the Mavs three years ago, when he was a free agent, but the Dallas-area native eschewed a homecoming for a more lucrative contract with the Nets. The Mavs aren’t pursuing a trade for Williams because of the expense of the two years and nearly $43.374MM remaining on that deal, sources told Stein.
Brooklyn had been trying to trade Williams, notes Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.com (on Twitter), most notably to the Kings, but the Nets didn’t want to give up Mason Plumlee and no deal to came to fruition out of those talks this past season. Plumlee fell out of favor with the Nets later in the season, and Brooklyn traded him last month. The Kings are no longer believed to have interest in Williams now that they’re set to sign Rajon Rondo, Stein writes. As unsuccessful trade efforts persisted, higher-ups in the Nets organization had been giving thought to a buyout, as Mazzeo also writes in his tweet. The Nets don’t want to simply waive Williams and eat the entire contract, and even using the stretch provision to spread the money over five years doesn’t hold appeal, as GM Billy King has said and as Stein notes.
King said Thursday morning that his team would probably make moves designed to bring its payroll, which Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders estimates to have $95MM worth of guaranteed salary, beneath the $84.74MM tax line or to a smaller margin above it. Still, King said this morning that he expects Williams and Joe Johnson will be on the Nets roster when the season begins.
Stein has heard “steady rumblings” in recent weeks that a return to the Jazz is a possibility for Williams, but the 10-year veteran would prefer the Mavs, in part because of the presence of ex-Jazz teammate Wesley Matthews, Stein adds. Williams would fill the need at point guard in Dallas, though he’s not nearly the star that he was when the Mavs chased him three years ago.