But not so fast.
Williams, the hottest commodity set to hit the open market this summer, reportedly has already thought about heading westward to conquer the world with Kobe Bryant, but it appears the Nets currently have the upper hand. Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated explains:
A source close to the three-time All-Star said he would be interested in joining the Lakers, though it would have to be via a sign-and-trade deal. (Lakers point guard Ramon Sessions, who was acquired from Cleveland at the trade deadline, has a $4.5 million player option for next season.)
The source said Williams’ preference, however, is for the Nets to improve the roster sufficiently enough that he can feel good about staying put rather than fear a repeat of this season, when they finished 22-44. As for Dallas, which sacrificed its best chance to defend the title by preserving salary-cap space last summer in anticipation of this free-agent class, the source said of the Mavericks: “There’s no longevity there.” If owner Mark Cuban can clear enough space to sign a worthy sidekick for Williams, though, then maybe Williams would join his hometown team after all.
A Lakers backcourt of Williams and Kobe? With possibly a hopefully more consistent (and mature) Andrew Bynum? Holy Mitch Kupchak, Batman! That ought to turn Kobe’s frown upside down. And now Dan Gilbert is already preparing his first draft.
The part about the Mavs is interesting. I guess Amick’s source doesn’t think much of Dirk Nowitzki.
As for the news about the Nets, it’s a retread of previous reports we’ve heard. Notable, though, is Williams saying in the past that he’d like to stay with the Nets if the team can acquire Dwight Howard. And wouldn’t you know it: Howard, presently doomed for at least another season of torture in Orlando, apparently wants to be put on the block again. It’s likely but still not clear if Howard would be the “sufficient enough” improvement to the roster Williams reportedly hopes for. But, meanwhile, Nets fans are responding thusly:
H/T Eye on Basketball
Photo: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE