Deron Williams has been blogging from Turkey, and his blogs are mostly innocuous — his family’s doing well, he can’t find a good Jack Daniels sauce anywhere, and he’s enjoying his time with Besiktas, who’s doing very well in Euro ball. (Just yesterday, Besiktas defeated Fenerbahce Ulker, Bojan Bogdanovic’s club, led by Deron’s 21-5-5.)
But at the end of Friday’s blog, Deron said something to stir the pot:
The lockout is still going…if the CBA is finalized and I’ll need to come back to the NBA, I think it takes some time for them to get everything on paper, maybe three or four weeks. If we make a deal, I’ll try to come back as soon as possible. Also, as far as living, I don’t have a place in New Jersey yet. I don’t want to buy anywhere, just planning to rent for now. I’m not sure yet what I’m going to do after the NBA season. We’ll see…
Deron has three options after the season: exercise his player option through 2012-13, re-sign with the Brooklyn Nets, or terminate his contract and enter free agency.
So he’s not ready to buy a house in New Jersey. If you’ve been paying attention to what Deron’s been saying, none of this surprises you. Deron’s been clear on what he wants if he’s to stay with the Nets: better players. The franchise (when they’re allowed to function), the direction, the move to Brooklyn… all good. If the Nets can entice an improved, contending roster, he’ll sign. If not, he’ll bolt. It’s a great ultimatum for a player to throw down, and it’s one that Billy King’s job likely rests on.
But I’m not up in arms that he won’t buy a place in Jersey while playing in Turkey. Last I checked, the Nets won’t be there for long anyway. Deron was one of the players pushing for union decertification on July 1, and he’s long expected the lockout to last the full season. It would be much more odd (though welcome) if a superstar playing on the other side of the world was fully committed to a franchise that’s locking him out of playing in the highest-quality league on the planet, or to buying a house in the state that they’re moving out of.
This will all seem much less like doomsday once Deron wears a Nets uniform again. That is, until the full-speed emotional roller coaster of 2012 free agency hits.
And while I think everyone knows this by now, it’s never been clearer who “better players” means after Deron retweeted this: