Deron Williams Will Become A Free Agent; Caron Butler Wants the Bulls

By: 12.02.11  •  35 Comments
Deron Williams

Deron Williams

Deron Williams is probably feeling mad lonely right now over there in Jersey. Dwight Howard this, and Chris Paul wants to go here and everyone wants to team up. Well Williams is sort of stuck in a weird spot in Jersey: He’s with a team in transition, a franchise that has a future but aren’t quite sure what it is yet and while he holds a lot of power, his situation isn’t as sexy as CP going to the Big Apple or Dwight moving to Hollywood. He does have the game to back up any talk, and yesterday he made it perfectly clear: He will play out this season in Jersey and then take his chances as a free agent. So the Nets better get spending. Last summer, the Nets swung for the fences in a market for the ages and missed pretty much everything. This year, we’re starting to get the feeling they’ll miss out on their main targets again. Dwight Howard doesn’t really want to play there. Chris Paul wants to be in Manhattan. Now with Deron Williams putting the pressure on by saying he will opt out of his deal to become a free agent (business-wise, it makes sense for him anyways), the Nets know they can’t come away empty-handed. That leaves them with a lot of money and only a few options. Marc Gasol is expected to stay in Memphis, but Tyson Chandler and Nene are two available big guys who would have to appeal to Williams. Nene will command at least $13 million a year annually, according to Yahoo! Sports, and the teams who have already reached out to him include the Nets, Nuggets, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers. Nene has stated all along he wants to play for a contender. No one on that list is winning anything soon, so he might as well take the cash and roll the dice that New Jersey can land a star like Howard to propel them forward. At the same time, he could be dealt in the process so you never know … We’re nearly a week into the post-lockout period and hardly a word has been spent on Caron Butler. This is a player that dropped 15 a night last year for the defending champs. He’s also a 31-year-old swingman coming off a major injury, and someone who had a slightly fluky year last season. But not everyone is overlooking him. Butler is seriously considering both the Bulls and the Clippers, two teams who need wing help. The Clippers have solid starters all over the court, basically everyone except for small forward. And while the Bulls have Luol Deng, they lack wing scorers who can take the pressure off the MVP. They also wouldn’t be able to offer him the most money. But Butler isn’t the only one the Bulls will be after. We’ve heard Arron Afflalo, Shane Battier, Jamal Crawford, Nick Young and even Tracy McGrady. Even as Thibs and Derrick Rose play the PC game, saying Keith Bogans is their guy, you know they’ll start opening night with someone different … David West is another big name who’s become lost in the shuffle so far, but he has two teams who seem to be obsessed with signing him. The Pacers and his old team in New Orleans are both extremely interested. The Pacers desperately need another low post scorer, and would love to add a veteran along that frontline. The Hornets simply need him back if they want to hold onto anymore of Paul’s trust. But if he’s on his way out, you might as well let the 31-year-old forward go as well and start completely over … Since he’s been mentioned a few times on here lately, here’s an update on Gerald Green: after two weeks in China, he was let go by Foshan Longlions because he “failed to fit into the tactic system of the whole team.” Sounds like something was going on behind-the-scenes because Green was averaging 26.5 a night … If you need to stay up to date on what’s going on with every free agent in the league, we have you covered. Our free agent tracker will stay updated as players and teams agree to terms within the next week or two … Keep reading for: Josh Smith wants out, and check out how much weight Kevin Love lost during the Lockout…

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