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NBA Trade Rumors: Joe Johnson Doesn't Guarantee Deron Williams Stays

While many in Dallas worried that the Brooklyn Nets wouldn't take on Joe Johnson's gargantuan deal unless it guaranteed Deron Williams would stay, that apparently is not the case:

Instead, the deal feels like a hedge from the Nets front office to ensure they will have a respectable team as they open their new stadium in Brooklyn, regardless of what the top free agent on the market decides.

The one thing the Nets had over the Mavericks in the Williams sweepstakes was the opportunity of cap room to more easily pursue Dwight Howard; now they are offering a capped-out team with Brook Lopez, Gerald Wallace and Johnson.

It's not a bad squad, and it could even make the second round of the playoffs, but it's certainly not that more appealing than Dirk Nowitzki and maneuverability into the future, which is what Dallas is offering.

For all the latest news and notes on the Mavericks free agency plans, stay tuned to the SB Nation Dallas story-stream as well as Mavs Moneyball.

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