Deron Williams staying in Brooklyn, takes Nets' $98-million deal

New Jersey Nets point guard Deron Williams drives New Jersey Nets point guard Deron Williams drives past Denver Nuggets power forward Al Harrington during the first quarter. (Jan. 11, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

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Deron Williams decided that being a part of a team trying to build something in Brooklyn was better than going home and playing in Dallas.

The three-time All-Star point guard will re-sign with the Nets, agreeing on a five-year, $98.7-million maximum contract. Williams announced his decision through his Twitter account Tuesday night. He tweeted, "Made a very tough decision today . . . " and attached a picture of a Brooklyn Nets logo.

Williams, who worked out at the Nets' facility Tuesday, will make about $25 million more by staying than if he had chosen Dallas. The deal can't be signed until July 11, but it was a huge day for the franchise that will open Barclays Center in the fall. The Nets held on to their best player and continued working on trying to put pieces around him.

The only thing that would have made the day better for the Nets would have been if they acquired Dwight Howard. That remains a possibility as the Magic re-engaged the Nets in trade discussions for Howard, according to multiple reports.

Nothing appears imminent as the Magic reportedly also have had conversations with the Lakers about Andrew Bynum. The Mavericks, Rockets and Hawks also are potential trade partners for Orlando.

But with Williams staying with the Nets, Howard's people could push harder for the Magic to make a deal with Brooklyn. Howard has told the Magic he wants to be traded to the Nets.

Initially, Magic executives told the Nets they weren't interested in what they had. But the two sides began talking again Monday night with the Nets offering Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries -- both in sign-and-trade deals -- MarShon Brooks and first-round picks in 2013, 2015 and 2017. It's possible a third team would have to be involved.

If the Nets can't acquire Howard in a trade, they could try to pull off a sign-and-trade for versatile Bucks free-agent forward Ersan Ilyasova, who has been on their radar.

The Nets have been very busy since the free-agency negotiation period began. They came to terms with small forward Gerald Wallace on Sunday and agreed to acquire six-time All-Star guard Joe Johnson from Atlanta on Monday in a six-player trade.

On Tuesday, they reached a deal with 6-9, 250-pound Bosnian forward Mirza Teletovic on a three-year, $15.67-million contract. They also agreed to acquire burly veteran forward Reggie Evans in a sign-and-trade from the Clippers for a future second-round pick.

Reportedly, Evans, a 10-year veteran with career averages of 4.0 points and 6.8 rebounds, will get a three-year contract worth roughly $5 million and will fit into a $3-million trade exception the Nets acquired from Portland for Wallace.

The Nets' midlevel exception went to Teletovic, so they likely won't have the money to sign Jason Kidd to back up Williams. But moving to Brooklyn with Williams on board was the Nets' No. 1 priority this offseason and they accomplished that.

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