Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 2/26/12

In Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game, any talk of trade rumors or free agency is most likely going to center around the host team’s star attraction, Dwight Howard. But let’s not lose sight of the fact that there’s another big-time player in the game who could be up for grabs on the open market soon: Deron Williams.

Williams is expected to opt out of his contract with the Nets after the season and would be one of the prime free agents on the market this summer. And according to the New York Daily News, it sounds like Williams is already looking that far ahead:

The ultimate disaster for New Jersey would be if Williams and Howard end up playing together, but not in Brooklyn. With some roster alterations that are doable, including using their one amnesty move on Brendan Haywood, the Mavs could be set up, cap-wise, to accommodate both players.

“The Mavs want to do what Miami did and put together their own big three,’’ said another GM. “That’s their goal.”

Williams privately told members of the Mavs last June during their Finals celebration that he would love to go back home and be a part of team with Dirk Nowitzki. But he said Friday he wants to continue to be a Net. So until further notice, the Nets think they still have a good shot to move into Brooklyn with Williams and Howard.

You may remember the Nets’ sad attempt last week to persuade Howard to join them next season, and Williams has gone on record as saying he’d stay with the Nets if they can add the Magic center.

And yet, over the offseason the Mavs put their roster in a position to sign a couple of big-name free agents this summer, such as Williams and Howard. Williams is from the Dallas area, and the Mavs are on Howard’s short list. Speculating a Dallas link-up for those two is hardly anything new, but this report leads us to believe the possibility is closer becoming reality. How embarrassing would it be for the Nets if they open their new Brooklyn arena and Williams and Howard are both playing in Dallas?

Then again, all this conjecture can be settled before the summer if Howard gets dealt by the March 15 trade deadline.

H/T Eye on Basketball
Photo credit: Kim Klement, US Presswire

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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