It’s official, hometown hero Deron Williams is finally coming to Dallas. The former Brooklyn Nets star point guard received a buyout last week and was rumored to be interested in joining up with the Mavericks, and it’s now a done deal. Mavs owner Mark Cuban announced the deal on his social media platform, Cyber Dust.
Williams immediately slides into the starting point guard slot for the Mavs, after signing a two-year deal worth $10 million. The Mavericks will try him out as their lead guard after last year’s failed attempt to do the same with Rajon Rondo. The team cut ties with Rondo before the playoffs were over last year and have since been looking for an upgrade at the lead guard spot.
It looks like they have found that with Williams, who should see most of the point guard minutes ahead of Devin Haris, J.J. Barea and Raymond Felton. It’s worth wondering what Williams gives the Mavs as a starter, though, as he averaged just 13 points and 6.6 assists while shooting just 38% from the field with the Nets last season.
While Williams may not be quite in his prime anymore at 31 years old, it’s debatable that a fresh start in Dallas could be precisely what he needs. D-Will was an impact scorer as recently as 2012 (18.9 points per game) and arguably has seen a sharp decline as a result of inconsistent rotations orchestrated by Nets coach, Lionel Hollins. With a much brighter mind in Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle leading the way, it’s possible we end up seeing the best play from Williams the NBA has seen in years.
It could also all go horribly wrong and D-Will could be just as washed up and problematic as Rondo was during the 2014-15 NBA season. Only time will tell, but on the surface Williams is worth a shot and if he can return to form that even remotely resembles his elite playing days, the Mavs could have gotten a huge steal off of the open market.
With Williams in place and the team recently trading for big man Zaza Pachulia, Dallas has quietly made some solid moves to combat losing star center DeAndre Jordan, who decided to go back to the Clippers after verbally committing to the Mavs. Of course, that may not yet be enough to consider the Mavs a title threat, much less a concrete playoff team in a brutal Western Conference.