In Stillwater, there is a mixed fan base of both Thunder and Mavericks fans, so James and I like to add coverage every once in awhile.
Tonight, the NBA Lottery will go down, and neither OKC nor Dallas are eligible. The Thunder probably won’t even be watching, as their team is in a pretty good position right now and doesn’t really have a gap to fill or a need to trade up to a top spot.
But Cuban and the rest of the Dallas fan base? They’ll not only be watching, but they’ll be studying every move made.
Why? It’s simple. Deron Williams.
The New Jersey Nets have a 1 in 4 chance of getting that coveted top pick when the draft rolls around, and if that 25% chance strikes oil then there could be a major swing in what this summer’s offseason will hold.
It’s no secret that Williams is a free agent, and will garner the most attention this offseason from teams looking for a franchise point guard. It’s also no secret that the Illinois alum is a Dallas native, playing his high school ball at The Colony High School just north east of uptown.
Long story short, it’s very likely that Williams has been entertaining the idea of playing in his hometown, and Mark Cuban is obviously thinking the same thing as he stripped his 2011 championship team down to nothing to make a run at D-Will.
So what does tonight have to do with that situation?
It’s actually pretty simple. Williams wants to win, he’s said that forever. If New Jersey (er, Brooklyn?) doesn’t make an obvious attempt to make the 22-44 team into a contender, it’s likely that their point guard throws up a peace sign as he departs.
But if New Jersey lands a top 3 or 4 pick tonight, that could be just what Williams needs to see. In that Top 4, you have Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Bradley Beal, and Thomas Robinson. Davis, Kidd-Gilchrist and Robinson have all shown strong play at the forward position, and if any are on the board when New Jersey goes on the clock, you can guarantee they’d take them.
Another scenario? Well, there’s a man in Orlando named Dwight Howard who may (or may not) want out. Would New Jersey dish out a Top 3 pick plus a few players for the best center in the league?
What Dallas fans are rooting for is to see New Jersey get left out in the cold, somewhere preferably out of the Top 5 of the draft.
If that happens, you’ll see the Deron Williams sweepstakes hit full-swing as soon as the Larry O’Brien trophy is hoisted into the air.