Thursday, March 15, 2012

Deron Williams uses Brooklyn in final pitch for Dwight Howard

The future of the New Jersey Nets might hinge on the plight of Dwight Howard before today's 3 pm trade deadline and the Nets free-agent-to-be Deron Williams is banking on the the borough of Brooklyn to lure the Orlando Magic center to the Nets.

After a bizarre sequence of events over the past few months, including drunk-dialing from the Magic CEO and continuing with Howard telling the team he would exercise his one-year option to remain in Orlando, it looks like the big man could end up in New Jersey— until the move to Brooklyn next year.

Williams sounded like a man who would remain with the Nets if Howard came aboard and sang the praises of Brooklyn to show why the new location was desirable.

"Companies I'm dealing with are real excited about the move to Brooklyn," Williams said.  "That's what really excites them ... they see the buzz around the new arena, the fans are excited about a team coming to the borough, and I think everybody is trying to get a head start on that."

All that, and free Jay-Z tickets to boot.

Williams was traded to the Nets at the end of the 2010-11 season and made it clear he would not stay if the team didn't build the franchise around him.

The Nets guard, who becomes a free agent after the season said he will stay if the Nets sign Howard.

Nets general manager Billy King has continued to engage in trade talks with the Magic with the hope of  making a deal before the trade deadline.  King insists that the Nets will not trade Williams.

While the Nets are one of many teams vying for Howard's services, Howard has said in the past that the Nets were a top choice when he became a free agent.

If the Nets do not sign Howard, it's almost a foregone conclusion Williams— their best player— will leave at the end of the season.

Williams— who came to New Jersey from the Utah Jazz— wants Howard to know that by coming to the Nets opens up a lot of marketing opportunities especially when they relocate to Brooklyn.

"It's been a lot different than Utah, that's for sure.  It's definitely a bigger market, a better market, able to reach more people," said Williams, who has picked up deals with Audi, Metro PCS, and Red Bull.

"A lot of the companies I'm dealing with are excited about the move to Brooklyn."

If Howard re-signs with the Magic, it would be the worst-case-scenario for the Nets.

Is Williams concerned about being traded himself or his future with the Nets?

"There is no way to tell," he reasoned.  "We'll see what happens and go from there."

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