New Jersey Nets head coach Avery Johnson views Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks as a potential threat to sign-away point guard Deron Williams this offseason, according to ESPN Dallas.
"He's a threat, OK?" Johnson said of Cuban. "I know the guy. I think because of the success he's had -- and I know he got criticized a lot for quote-unquote having all those years where he didn't win a championship -- but he's had some great success here that rivals any situation. So that's a threat."
Williams chose not to sign a long-term contract extension with the Nets prior to this season because under the new collective bargaining agreement, he would be able to make a great deal more money if he were to sign with them after the 2011-12 campaign. At the time, he expressed to Nets fans that his decision was about dollars and cents, but he still will have the ability to speak with other teams when he becomes a free-agent.
The Mavericks have fixed their financial affairs to be major players this offseason, potentially allowing them to go out and sign All-Stars Dwight Howard, Deron Williams, or both.
Johnson served as the Mavericks head coach from 2004-08. In 2005-06 he helped lead the Mavericks to a Western Conference championship, and was named the NBA Coach of the Year.