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Deron Williams Reportedly Sees No Long-Term Future In Dallas

With the start of NBA free agency still over a month away, it's far too early to panic about the Dallas Mavericks off-season, but this quote in a recent SI.com piece by Sam Amick can't make Mavericks fans feel too good:

The source said Williams' preference, however, is for the Nets to improve the roster sufficiently enough that he can feel good about staying put rather than fear a repeat of this season, when they finished 22-44. As for Dallas, which sacrificed its best chance to defend the title by preserving salary-cap space last summer in anticipation of this free-agent class, the source said of the Mavericks: "There's no longevity there." If owner Mark Cuban can clear enough space to sign a worthy sidekick for Williams, though, then maybe he'd join his hometown team after all.

That was always the concern with letting Tyson Chandler walk last season, as now the only thing the Mavericks have to offer free agents is the chance to play with the 34-year old Dirk Nowitzki.

The last sentence, though, is probably the kicker: with the Miami Heat beginning the super-team era, Williams likely sees playing with Dwight Howard as his best chance of being relevant over the next five seasons.

If Dallas can offer him that opportunity, he'd likely jump at the chance, but just a home-town team push isn't going to be enough.

For all the latest on the Mavericks free agency plans, stay tuned to the SB Nation Dallas storystream as well as Mavs Moneyball.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.