Deron Williams Agrees to Contract Buyout

The Brooklyn Nets and point guard Deron Williams have agreed to terms on a contract buyout, as reported by David Aldridge. The 31-year old Williams, who signed his five-year, $99 million dollar deal in 2012, will receive $27.5 million from the Nets organization in his release (of the $43.1 million remaining over the next two seasons) and then hit waivers, where he’s expected to sign for $10 million over two years with the Dallas Mavericks.

Leaks of a potential buyout between Williams and the Nets filtered out late Thursday night, with Stein’s sources attributing the activity to the Dallas Mavericks’ failed pursuit of DeAndre Jordan in free agency and the organization’s desire to sign Williams with their unexpected cap space after courting him in the summer of 2012. Williams appeared in 68 games for the Nets in 2014-15 and averaged 13 points, 6.6 assists, and 3.1 rebounds in 31.1 minutes per game, shooting a career-low 38.7% from the field, and reportedly clashed with head coach Lionel Hollins last season during a meeting around the All-Star break.

Deron Williams’s Nets career was affected early by ankle issues which limited him on the court and sapped him of his former athleticism and lift on his jumper, but he was still capable of the occasional throwback performance, like with his 35-point outburst against the Atlanta Hawks in Game 4 of their first-round playoff series. Off the court, Williams struggled to adjust to a leadership role with the team and as the face of the organization’s move to Brooklyn, which former teammate Paul Pierce addressed this postseason. He should be expected to compete for a starting role with the Dallas Mavericks next season, while the Nets will fill his point guard position through their numerous internal options.

Losing Williams’s on-court production and shooting ability will be a loss for a Brooklyn Nets team that hopes to return to the postseason again next season, but the financial savings on Deron’s deal will help the organization in the long-term by trimming their luxury tax commitments and removing a near-max salary slot from next season’s payroll. Brooklyn general manager Billy King will then utilize the NBA’s stretch provision to spread Williams’s remaining $27.5 million over the next five years, effectively eliminating his luxury tax anxieties and any potential Joe Johnson trade rumors going forward.

Deron Williams’s Brooklyn Nets career spanned five years and 277 games, and he ranks fourth in assists (2,078) in the franchise’s history.