On Tuesday, Deron Williams decided to stay with the Nets, creating a fearsome backcourt tandem with the newly acquired Joe Johnson and the potential to create a Big Three with Dwight Howard, who still insists Brooklyn is the only place he wants to play.
But Williams very nearly took an offer from his hometown Mavericks, and today admits that he would have taken less money to play in his hometown.
Yesterday, Ray Allen did basically the opposite of what Williams did, taking less money to leave the Celtics for the Heat. This didn’t earn him a whole lot of respect with Celtics fans, who have to be, shall we say, disappointed in one of their biggest stars jumping to one of their biggest rivals even as the C’s appear to be reloading for another run at a title.
Be sure to check out Moke Hamilton’s review of the first week of NBA free agency, Jan Hubbard’s column on the USA Olympic team, and Mark Heisler’s updated column on the future of the Lakers and Clippers. And be sure to keep an eye on our team-by-team offseason moves analysis index.
All the news, and a boatload of links, is below.
- Deron Williams was very close to choosing the Mavericks over the Nets before the Joe Johnson trade, reports Marc Berman of the New York Post. “‘I was really close to going to Dallas,’; Williams said Friday in his first remarks since agreeing to terms with Brooklyn on Tuesday. ‘I actually thought that’s where I was going to go. Then I had the meetings [with Dallas and Nets] and changed my mind. After I got out of the meeting with Dallas, saw the team they were going to have and putting out there and we just made the trade for Joe Johnson, I felt that team [the Nets] for a longer time would be the better team.’’’
- Some reactions to Ray Allen heading to the Heat, courtesy of the Celtics Insider blog at the Boston Herald: “Said (JaJuan) Johnson: ‘I don’t know. One of the things you learn coming into the NBA is that it’s a business, and you have to do what’s best for you and your family. It’s going to be tough to see him in any uniform besides a Celtics uniform, but hopefully he does well, just not when he plays well. But we wish him the best.’ … Celtics assistant coach Tyron Lue, who is running the Celtics summer league team, admitted that he didn’t see this one coming. ‘I was shocked. I see Ray as a Celtic, but in this business you have to do what’s best for you,’ said Lue. ‘So I have to wish him luck. But changing uniforms after being around here for so long is pretty big.'”
- Also on Allen, Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld reports via Twitter that “There’s truth to the rumor that Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo didn’t get along in Boston, says source. That’s a big reason Allen left for Miami.” The Celtics will have to hope new acquisition Jason Terry can mesh better with Rondo as well as replace Allen’s offense.
- A more in-depth look at the Allen-Rondo situation comes from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Wojnarowski writes “Rondo was the issue that hadn’t gone away, that would still be there come training camp. They don’t like each other, and it had become a bigger and bigger drag on Allen, sources said. Each had culpability for why things had gone awry, and yet each was better on the court because he had played with the other.” The entire piece is excellent and definitely worth a read. Gives some excellent background to why Allen might not be, as Jarrett Jack called him last night, a “traitor”.
- Blazers president Larry Miller is leaving the team to rejoin Nike, according to Jason Quick of The Oregonian. His reasoning, as reported by Quick, is that “it felt like it is the right time, and the right thing for me.” Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today tweeted to add “In release from Blazers, Miller said: ‘We have an excellent general manager in place in Neil Olshey, so I feel the team is on solid ground.'” This seems to conflict with reports from Ken Berger of CBS Sports, who tweeted the following: “Speculation had flourished in recent weeks that once Blazers hired Neil Olshey as GM, Larry Miller’s days as team president were numbered,” “Once hiring process had been taken out of Miller’s hands, it was only a matter of time before he stepped down, sources say.” Miller has nothing to gain by not being diplomatic, of course, but this paints a different picture of his resignation.
- Jeff Green is remaining a Celtic, says Ken Berger of CBS Sports. Berger got some quotes from Green’s agent, David Falk: “Falk on Green agreement with Boston: ‘I’m very happy. I can’t say I’m surprised. He’s where he wants to be,'” “Green missed the entire 2011-12 season after surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm. ‘First class’ is the way Boston handled it, Falk said.”Sam Amick of SI.com adds via Sulia: “No word yet on the terms, though keep in mind that the Celtics issued a $9 million qualifying offer last off-season before he had heart surgery. They are confident he is fully healthy.”
- A couple tweets from Frank Isola of the New York Daily News regarding Marcus Camby:
- More Camby news from Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com: “Miami Heat president Pat Riley was able to get Ray Allen at a discount, convincing him to take half has much money as he was offered by the Boston Celtics. If the Heat want to land their next free-agent target, veteran center Marcus Camby, Riley is going have to make the same sale or likely lose out to the New York Knicks. Camby’s starting point for salary, sources said, is $3 million per season on a multiyear deal. The only way for the Heat to make that work is a sign-and-trade with the Houston Rockets, who own Camby’s rights. The Rockets, however, are interested in a sign-and-trade with the Knicks but not with the Heat, sources told ESPN.com.”
- Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com on Rashard Lewis:
- Tommy Dee of The Knicks Blog reports via Twitter that the Knicks are not going to be talking to the Magic about Dwight Howard “at all”.
- Speaking of Howard, many sources reported this morning that nothing is imminent regarding a trade. The most detailed report on any single team’s plans regarding Howard came from Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, who tweeted “Nets have “30 percent chance” of landing Dwight in trade but likely would turn attention to FAs if it cant be done in a week,source tells Y!”
Dan Malone just completed his sophomore year at University of Kings College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and is spending the summer in Baltimore, where he covers the Single-A minor-league baseball team the Aberdeen IronBirds for OriolesHangout.com. He will be blogging on weekends for SheridanHoops this summer.