LAS VEGAS -- On Day 2 of the Team USA media availability here on the surface of the sun, the heat was finally off of Deron Williams.
As dozens of reporters surrounded LeBron James and Kobe Bryant at their respective tables inside the Wynn hotel, Williams -- the 28-year-old point guard who decided last Tuesday to re-sign with Brooklyn with a five-year, $98 million deal -- was more than happy to be old news. He had an audience of three at his table, where SI.com caught up with the candid and reflective three-time All-Star to discuss his past, present and future.
Williams discussed his transition from Utah to New Jersey after he was traded midway through the 2010-11 season, a move that came with the unwelcome reality that he would grow accustomed to losing after so many playoffs runs with the Jazz. He discussed his decision (including the impact that the Nets' recent trade with Atlanta for shooting guard Joe Johnson played in it) as well as the looming possibility that he could still team up with Orlando center Dwight Howard.
The Nets continue to talk to the Magic about Howard, though a source said the Lakers, Hawks, Rockets and Mavericks remain in the mix for him. While the structure of a possible Howard deal with the Nets is mostly in place, sources confirmed that Orlando would not want Nets free-agent forward Kris Humphries in that trade and was looking for a third team to take him in a sign-and-trade. A source with direct knowledge of the Nets-Magic talks said Cleveland had emerged as the necessary third team and that there was significant progress and a chance of the deal being done heading into Monday.
Those are the things I'm looking forward to next year, just knowing that those things won't happen. I won't have to force shots; I won't have to shoot stepback threes over three people. I'll have weapons out there. I can go back to being a point guard. That was one of my main focuses, was going to a place where I can just be a point guard.