Southwest Notes: Williams, Motiejunas, Jones

Playing in Brooklyn gave Deron Williams the sense that “everybody felt I was the problem,” and he cited his own injuries as well as what he saw as the negative effect frequent coaching turnover had on chemistry for reasons why it didn’t work out with the Nets, as Mike Mazzeo of chronicles. The Nets weren’t pleased with Williams’ attitude, nor his declining production, sources told Mazzeo, but Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle has showered praise on the point guard, who feels much more at home on his new team.

“[Dallas] has been great for me,” Williams said, according to Mazzeo. “It’s been great for my family. [There’s] a lot more positivity in Dallas, and I think I needed that in my life.”

Williams has a player option worth more than $5.621MM for next season. See more on the Mavs amid the latest from the Southwest Division:

  • Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said Monday that he wanted every player the Knicks wound up with from the 2015 draft: Kristaps Porzingis, Jerian Grant and Guillermo Hernangomez, a second-round draft-and-stash pick, tweets Ian Begley of The main attraction was naturally Porzingis, the No. 4 overall selection, as Marc Berman of the New York Post details. “We would have traded up in a heartbeat to get that kid,’’ Cuban said. “We loved him. Obviously, people are going to compare him to Dirk [Nowitzki] because that’s what people like to do. When you’re 7’3″, those three inches make a difference.”
  • The Rockets are reportedly thinking about trading Donatas Motiejunas and Terrence Jones, but Jonathan Tjarks of RealGM points to their presence in Houston as reason for hope amid the team’s slow start.
  • Kendrick Perkins was expected to miss three months when he went down with a right pectoral injury in early November, but a decent chance exists that he returns to play sometime this month, according to John Reid of The Times Picayune. Coach Alvin Gentry lauded the big man’s work ethic during rehab, Reid notes, and this weekend Gentry praised Perkins’ locker room influence, as Brett Dawson of the New Orleans Advocate relays (Twitter link). Perkins is with the Pelicans on a one-year deal. “I think he’s the best teammate I’ve ever seen,” Gentry said. “I mean, without a doubt. I really do believe that.”

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