Four rival executives and a fifth person familiar with Williams' thinking told CBSSports.com Tuesday that the Mavericks are becoming increasingly worried that the All-Star point guard will stay with the Nets when the free-agent floodgates open Sunday.
If there's a grain of salt to be found, it's that this latest report contradicts rumors from just a week ago. CBS Sports reported that a high-ranking executive in the sneaker industry said that Williams preferred to join the Mavs - even at a hometown discount - rather than stay with the Nets organization.
One things' for certain - the silly season has begun for those vying for Williams' services:
Williams' birthday was not overlooked by the Nets, who sent a truck to Williams' New York City apartment with a "Happy Birthday Deron" sign and the new Brooklyn logo emblazoned on the side.