by Ben Golliver: cbssportsline
The two finalists will get their day to make their respective cases to their prize. And the winner will reportedly get a nice bonus.
On Monday, free agent point guard Deron Williams will reportedly meet with both the Brooklyn Nets and the Dallas Mavericks, the only two teams on his free agent list.
ESPN.com reports the meetings and notes that a fellow free agent point guard will join him in a package deal.
Deron Williams, the most coveted player in this summer's free-agent class, will meet with representatives from the Brooklyn Nets and Dallas Mavericks on Monday before deciding which team to sign with this July, according to a source privy to Williams' plan.
Mavericks free-agent point guard Jason Kidd will also join whichever team Williams chooses, sources said.
Last week, word surfaced that Williams had narrowed it down to the Nets or the Mavericks. On Thursday, Williams posted a message on Twitter about golfing with Kidd: "Just finished playing East Hampton Golf Club with Jason Kidd let the speculation begin?????"
Williams, 28, just completed his first full season with the Nets after being traded by the Utah Jazz at the 2011 trade deadline. Williams averaged 21.0 points, 8.7 assists and 1.2 steals in 26.3 minutes per game, making his third consecutive All-Star game. He is regarded as the clear No. 1 name in the free agency class of 2012.
The Nets, who failed to make the playoffs and traded their first round pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, will play the 2012-13 season at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn after moving from New Jersey. With a lackluster roster, Brooklyn's appeal to Williams will center largely around the excitement of the move to the big city plus the additional financial enticements the Nets are able to offer as the incumbent team. The Nets can give Williams a 5-year contract while other suitors are limited to 4-year deals.
The Mavericks, meanwhile, were swept out of the first round of the Western Conference playoffs after winning the 2011 title. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban opted against re-signing center Tyson Chandler so that he would be positioned to have maximum cap space for the summer 2012 free agency period. Williams, a Dallas-area native, has been linked to the Mavericks in rumors for roughly a year. Dallas' core group currently includes All-Star forward Dirk Nowitzki and versatile forward Shawn Marion. Of course, Cuban's spare no expenses approach to winning and player-friendly reputation is a big part of Dallas' pitch as well.
It's fair to say that Williams has struck a mostly grumpy pose ever since the Jazz surprised him by quickly trading rather than dealing with the headache of his impending free agency. He wants to win and has seemed frustrated with the team Brooklyn has put around him but, at the same time, there have been multiple reports (here and here) that Brooklyn holds the advantage in retaining him.
Kidd, 39, is an unrestricted free agent after averaging 6.2 points, 5.5 assists and 4.1 rebounds for Dallas last season. Kidd spent the last four-plus seasons with the Mavericks. Prior to that, he spent six-plus seasons with the New Jersey Nets, where he made the NBA Finals twice.
The NBA's free agency period opens on July 1 with a 10-day moratorium in place that prevents contracts from officially being signed until July 11.