LAS VEGAS — Deron Williams swears he hasn’t heard all of the rumors and doesn’t know anything about whatever the latest is on the Dwight Howard trade front.
“What’s happening?” Williams said while laughing as a crowd of gathered around him on the sideline before USA Basketball’s training camp practice at UNLV. “What about Dwight? I don’t know anything. I just hear rumors and speculation.”
Whatever potential deal is concocted to unite Williams, Howard, Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace as the Brooklyn Nets’ version of the Big 3 (plus one) is fine by Williams. He’s just not going to worry himself about the details in the meantime. He said it’s been two weeks since he’s spoken with Howard, another stretching of the truth.
But Williams is covering his bases right now. He’s not talking like Howard is in the fold, while also making it clear that the addition of Howard will bring nothing but good things.
“There have been a lot of rumors over the past year where he is concerned, so early on I concerned myself with it,” Williams said, “but now you just have to let it play out. And whatever happens, happens. I think we’ll have a good team without him and I think we’ll have an even better team with him. But the situation is tricky.”
Williams said he feels for Howard, having to go through the endless speculation surrounding his future, because they are friends.
“You want to see it end one way or another,” Williams said. “It’s tough on guys being in trade rumors. I know definitely know it’s tough on Brook [Lopez]. I’m happy with him as my teammate, he’s a promising young player.”
While Lopez has a bright future, Howard is a known commodity right now.
Adding him to the mix in Brooklyn would push the Nets into a different category, alongside the true contenders in the Eastern Conference and the entire league with that one move.
“I think we’d be good,” Williams said of the Nets with Howard in the fold, “one of the top teams in the East for sure, and one of the top teams in the NBA. It just depends on how everybody comes together as a team. You never know. It took Miami a year and losing in The Finals, and this year they came out and won it all … It would be great, [adding Howard], there’s no doubt about it. He’s one of the top five players in the world. There’s nobody like him in the NBA. Andrew Bynum is probably the closest thing in terms of a low-post threat.”
For a guy who claims to have kept his distance from the whole drama, Williams certainly has some well-versed opinions on what things would be like for the Nets with and without Howard in the middle.
That might have something to do with the fact that the idea was hatched years ago, during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing (back when Williams was still wearing a Jazz uniform, like in the video above). Williams said there are a number of reasons Howard has been asking to be traded to the Nets for months, most of them obvious to anyone paying attention (New York, a chance to play alongside Williams and the opportunity to start something from scratch in Brooklyn).
Still, he’s cautious about getting too wrapped up in something he has no real control over.
“I’m not concerning myself it, because this whole scenario already happened once before in February,” he said of the rumors that a deal might be imminent before they disappeared. “It is what it is. Of course, I would welcome that trade. But if it doesn’t happen I think we have a great group. I think Brook is a great player, and could be a special player in this league, especially with the right pieces around him.”