Will Yoder
Wednesday April 11th, 2012

New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov responded to rumors that his star point guard Deron Williams might be wooed away in free-agency this summer by the Mavericks, playfully joking that if that were to happen, he would have “crush” Dallas owner Mark Cuban.

“Let the best man win,” Prokhorov said, according to the New York Daily News. “If he wins, I will crush him with the kickboxing throwdown.”

When the Nets originally traded for Williams last season, the team believed that they would be able to sign the All-Star guard to a long-term extension. Williams, however, has held off signing such a deal, and will become a free-agent following this season. Initially it was believed that Williams chose not to sign prior to this season because under the new collective bargaining agreement he could make more money if he signed following the 2011-12 campaign. However, the Nets failure to secure big-name talent around the star has led some to believe he may leave.

The Dallas Mavericks appear to be the biggest potential suitor for Williams. The club has a large amount of cap space opening up after this season, and already has a cast of stars for Williams to gel with. In 53 games this season, Williams is averaging 21.3 points and 8.6 assists per contest. Over the course of his career, the 27-year-old has averaged 17.6 points and 9.2 assists per game.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.