Follow the Nets' return to New York with Newsday's Rod Boone.
Kidd: Deron almost bolted home to Dallas
Everyone knows Deron Williams was torn while mulling his free agent decision, but Jason Kidd said Williams nearly took his talents home to Dallas rather than re-sign with the Nets.
Kidd, who played golf on Long Island with Williams last week leading into free agency, indicated that the Nets' recent flurry of roster moves might've been the difference in Williams ultimately electing to play in Brooklyn. Williams publicly declared about 7 p.m. yesterday that he was coming back to the Nets, accepting the team's five-year, $98 million offer.
"Hopefully he comes out and tells his story of how he did it and how he decided, but I thought he was very close to going to Dallas," Kidd told ESPNDallas.com today. "People will be very shocked to hear that, or say I'm just saying that.
"But he really, truly, I think, wanted to play at home. That was one of his ideas, playing at home. But it just didn't work out this time around."
That's in part, Kidd says, due to the things GM Billy King has done since free agency began Sunday. The Nets re-signed swingman Gerald Wallace, agreed to acquire Joe Johnson from the Hawks, have a sign-and-trade with the Clippers for Reggie Evans ready to go, and also signed Bosnian forward Mirza Teletovic.
Teletovic's deal, by the way, reportedly won't be for the full mid-level exemption as initially thought. That leaves the Nets in play for a possible trade for Dwight Howard since they'll be able to exceed the hard salary cap floor of $74 million -- somethjing that wouldn't have been the case if Teletovic got the full exemption.
"Honestly, it came down to the roster," Kidd said. "Brooklyn made moves that improved the roster dramatically, and he saw things were going that way. That would be my opinion from looking on the outside. He felt that if Dirk [Nowitzki] goes down, he's sitting with himself."
Money, according to Kidd, didn't play a major factor.
"From my point of view, I would say it's not about the money," Kidd said. "He wants to win. He's been losing. He's been getting his teeth kicked in the last couple of years."
Even though Kidd publicly joked with Williams on Twitter when the two were playing golf, he suggested he didn't actively recruit him.
"With Deron, I was just the sounding board," Kidd said. "We played golf, I'd ask him questions, he'd answer them, and if there's anything he needed, if he had a question, I would try to answer it. That's how that all went."