Nets Notebook: Deron Williams on passing up Dallas

Deron Williams chose to come back to Brooklyn over joining Dallas. Credit: Reuters
Deron Williams chose to come back to Brooklyn over joining Dallas.
Credit: Reuters

Deron Williams could have returned to his hometown when free agency started last July and suited up for the Mavericks.

Interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo believed that was a strong possibility, but also felt Williams had been with the Nets long enough to get acclimated.

“I was always worried, just because that’s my nature. Until he re-signed, I was concerned,” Carlesimo said yesterday. “Yeah, clearly being from Dallas and Dallas having a pretty good roster — they won the championship a couple years ago — I thought it was a viable option.”

The talk of Williams joining the Mavericks was something the point guard was reluctant to talk about as his only comments Thursday were, “That’s behind me. I’m part of the Brooklyn Nets. There’s no reason to revisit that.”

In October, Williams had grown weary of his name being linked to the Mavericks. That stemmed from a non face-to-face exchange with owner Mark Cuban. Williams initially stated Cuban’s absence from meetings with the Mavericks contributed to his decision in free agency.

Cuban then countered in the Dallas Morning News, saying, “I’m a big D-Will fan, but I’m kind of surprised that he would throw his front office under the bus like that by saying that I would make a difference.”

More time for Mirza

Mirza Teletovic has averaged 8.1 minutes in the 35 games he has managed to get off the bench. During those games, he has made 32.4 percent of his 3-pointers and in the last four games his playing time has ranged from two minutes to 17 minutes.

Going forward, it seems Carlesimo might give Teletovic more minutes.

“I’d like to have [solidified the rotation] two months ago,” Carlesimo told reporters at the morning shootaround. “But Mirza is going to be the priority going forward. These next two games might not be ideal for Mirza.”

As for using Teletovic in the starting lineup, Carlesimo isn’t sure if that will occur since he thinks it could be a mismatch on both ends and it takes away some of the physical aspects the Nets display when Reggie Evans is out there.

Teletovic signed a three-year deal with the Nets over the summer following six seasons in the Spanish ACB league. Last year he shot 43.6 percent from 3-point range and is 4-of-10 behind the arc in his two double-digit scoring games this year.

Ex-Net Morrow excited to move

Anthony Morrow is currently in Dallas after being traded from Atlanta at the trade deadline but many times when he logs on to Twitter, a Net fan will ask when is he returning to the Nets.

“I get one of those tweets like every single day,” Morrow said before the game. “I definitely miss those fans, the Brooklyn fans and New Jersey fans. I didn’t realize they liked me so much.

“But it’s cool, it’s real cool and I support all the fans here still. I haven’t really thought about it but I want to be here [in Dallas] in the situation that I’m in now, a great situation, but you never know.”

Morrow appeared in 120 games for the Nets in their final two years in New Jersey when they played at the Prudential Center. In 2010-11, he led the team by making 42.3 percent of his 3-pointers and last year, though he slipped to 37.1 percent, he averaged 12 points while mostly coming off the bench.

Over the summer, Morrow was one of the five players sent to Atlanta in the Joe Johnson trade. He averaged just 12.5 minutes in 24 games and played just 9:44 over his final month and a half with the Hawks while missing 17 straight games with a strained right hip and sore lower back.

“It’s been a real trying year in terms of opportunities in Atlanta, [with] injuries and everything. So it’s been a real test of faith and a lot of character situations but it’s nothing I can’t handle,” Morrow said. “I’m still happy and I’m still blessed. When I found out I was coming here it was like a weight lifted off my shoulders. I knew I was going to get a chance to play.”

Morrow is the final year of a three-year contract and can be an unrestricted free agent over the summer. He initially signed the deal with the Nets after being acquired from Golden State in a sign-and-trade.

King, Nets support blood cancer charity

The Nets held a drive before the game to support bone marrow transplants against blood cancer that was sponsored by deletebloodcancer.org. Fans had their cheeks swabbed to see if they were a match. Among those getting swabbed was general manager Billy King.

The Nets also held drives on Jan. 18 against Atlanta and Feb. 5 against the Lakers. They will also hold drives April 4 vs. Chicago and April 15 vs. Washington.

Joe Johnson, whose mother is battling the disease, is the team’s spokesperson for the foundation and his public service announcement was played during halftime.

Follow Nets beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.


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