Deron Williams, the most sought-after free agent this summer, said he re-signed with the Brooklyn Nets partly because the other team he was considering, the Dallas Mavericks, did not have its biggest asset, owner Mark Cuban, around at a critical time.
The Mavs sent coach Rick Carlisle, president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson and front office assistant/former Mavs star Michael Finley to New York to convince Williams, a native of Dallas suburb The Colony, to continue his career in his hometown.
But Cuban was in California taping episodes of the ABC show “Shark Tank” at the time.
“I think (Cuban) would have been able to answer a lot of the questions me and my agent have for him that really didn’t get answered that day pertaining to the future,” Williams told reporters. “And I think if he was there he would have been able to answer those questions a little bit better. It maybe would have helped me.
“(I wanted to hear about) the direction of the future of the team, other than Dirk. Players they were thinking about. Everything was basically just their track record, trust their track record, which is, you know, I can honor that, because they do have a good track record but it’s not enough for me, especially when (Nets general manager Billy King) was updating me daily.”
Cuban has said that he thinks the Mavs are better off having not signed Williams.
“I’m very happy with the ways thing turned out for the Mavs and wish D-Will the best,” Cuban said via email from Barcelona, Spain, where the remodeled Mavs play an exhibition game Tuesday.
Cuban was in daily contact with agent Jeff Schwartz from the July 1 opening of free agency until Williams made his decision less than a week later. Jason Kidd, another Schwartz client, also assisted in the Mavs’ recruiting efforts of Williams, although Kidd later reneged on a commitment to return to Dallas and signed with the New York Knicks.