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Old 04-14-2011, 03:11 PM   #1
Nets fan 93
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: New Jersey
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Default Deron Williams: "I definitely can see myself staying here"

EAST RUTHERFORD – Deron Williams sounds like he wants to stay in a Nets’ uniform beyond his current contract.

Williams can sign a contract extension this summer and made it seem as if that is something he would be open to doing when he met with the media today.

“I like this organization a lot,” Williams said. “I like the direction they’re going. They made me and my family feel real comfortable since I’ve gotten here. I like coach [Avery] Johnson – the way he coaches and the way he carries himself.

“I definitely can see myself staying here. It’s something that’s going to be brought up a lot this summer after the collective bargaining agreement handles itself and then we’ll look at it.”

The Nets, who ended the regular season Wednesday, acquired Williams in February and immediately made him the face of the franchise. There are billboards of Williams in Newark and Times Square.

The one in New York says, “Brooklyn Bound.” The Nets aren’t going to be in Brooklyn until the start of the 2012-13 season, but from the way Williams was talking he expects to be there for the Barclays Center opening.

Williams can opt out of his contract next summer, but was asked whether he would want to play the 2011-12 season with his future unsettled or if he would rather have his deal done.

“I would like to not deal with distractions like that,” he said. “I think that would be great for me, for the team. We’ll see what happens.”

The Nets can begin negotiating with Williams on July 18, but that date is expected to be pushed back because of the looming labor strife. If the players union and owners don’t agree on a new collective bargaining agreement by June 30 there will be a lockout.

Many of the Nets, who had their exit interviews with Johnson and general manager Billy King on Thursday, said they expect there to be a lockout. But the Nets are confident after it’s lifted they will be able to keep Williams and build around him.

“You don’t assume anything,” Johnson said. “We have a lot of confidence about his situation. We feel we’ve gotten off to a good start. All we can do is continue to show him how he’s vitally important to the success of our team. We spend time every day doing it, one way or another.

“I feel Deron has totally bought in to what we’re doing. We have great communication with him, with his family. I really believe he is a sincere guy. And he’s a man of his word. And I can’t divulge any of our private conversations, but I really feel good about Deron next season in a Nets uniform, and on into the future.”
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