Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams, who recently re-signed with the team as a free agent, admitted Friday that he was "really close" to leaving the team and signing with the Dallas Mavericks.
What made him come back to the Nets? Their brash move to acquire the Atlanta Hawks' Joe Johnson this week.
"I was really close to going to Dallas," Williams told reporters at the Team USA basketball training camp in Las Vegas, according to CBS. "I actually thought that's where I was going to go, but I had the meetings and I changed my mind. Once I got out of the meeting with Dallas, the way they were going, the team they were putting out there, and we just made a trade for Joe Johnson, I just felt that team for a longer time would be a better team.
"Joe I think got me over the hump. I've never played with anybody like him. A guy on the wing who can get his own shot, get me involved, is a great defender. I think we can be one of the top backcourts in the NBA for sure."
On Monday, the Nets agreed to trade for Johnson, sending DeShawn Stevenson and the expiring contracts of Jordan Williams, Johan Petro, Jordan Farmar and Anthony Morrow to the Hawks in exchange.
During the week, the Nets also signed Bosnian forward Mirza Teletovic and acquired Reggie Evans in a sign-and-trade deal with the Los Angeles Clippers. They also re-signed forward Gerald Wallace. Williams told reporters that the flurry of moves has him "excited" for what's to come during the season.
"I think we're going to have a pretty good team this year, so we have a chance to become better," Williams said, according to ESPN. "A lot of our guys are a little underrated. Brook Lopez is a little undervalued. Gerald Wallace, people say he's old. He's 30 years old. The same with Joe. It will kind of be like a rejuvenation for all of us."And the Nets might not be done yet, as SI's Sam Amick reported Friday that there is still a chance they could land megastar center Dwight Howard in a trade with the Orlando Magic.