Deron Williams plans to turn down his player option worth more than $5.621MM and hit free agency to seek a multiyear contract this summer, sources told Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com (ESPN Now link). The Mavericks and the point guard have mutual interest in doing a new deal, according to MacMahon.
The 11-year veteran who turns 32 in June likely needs offseason surgery to address a sports hernia. The Jeff Schwartz client said in the aftermath of the Mavs’ playoff ouster this week that he’d love to return to Dallas, and coach Rick Carlisle said he’d also like to see him return. President of basketball operations Donnie Nelson pointed to what he saw as a renewed sense of enthusiasm in Williams’ play this season, the first for Williams with the Mavericks.
Dallas will have a clearer shot at opening enough cap room to sign a player for the middle-tier maximum salary of an estimated $26MM with Williams’ option out of the way, as we noted earlier this week, but re-signing Williams would probably come at a cost greater than the value of his option (Twitter link). MacMahon thinks the market will afford Williams a decent raise on the close to $5.379MM salary he took home this year. Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post sees Williams ending up with at least twice as much as his option would have given him (Twitter link).
Much of the free agent money around the league last summer had already been committed by the time Williams worked his buyout from the Nets and signed with the Mavericks in mid-July. He averaged 14.1 points, 5.8 assists and 2.3 turnovers in 32.4 minutes per game this season, production not too far removed from what he put up in his final season with Brooklyn.
Is Williams the right point guard for the Mavericks? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.