Mavericks point guard Deron Williams may be returning to the place where his NBA career began in 2005 as the third overall pick.
The Utah Jazz have expressed interest in the veteran guard who played at total of five-and-a-half seasons with the franchise before being traded to the then New Jersey Nets at the trade deadline in February 2011.
The Mavericks have reportedly made both Williams and Andrew Bogut available. Williams formed one of the most formidable tandems in the league alongside a Carlos Boozer in his prime, playing under the tutelage of Hall of Fame head coach Jerry Sloan.
Williams’ tenure in Utah included two All-Star game appearances and four trips to the playoffs, including a Western Conference Finals run against the San Antonio Spurs in 2007. However, in 2010 Boozer left for Chicago via a sign-and-trade and Sloan resigned as head coach in February of the following year.
There was much speculation that Sloan’s departure was the result of a clash with Williams. Two weeks after Sloan’s resignation, Williams was traded.
The Jazz are currently in fifth place in the Western Conference with a record of 35-22 and are in need of a veteran guard to help facilitate their playoff push. With Dante Exum’s struggles and George Hill’s injury woes, Utah will look to once again pair D-Will with his Brooklyn backcourt brethren, Joe Johnson.
Williams’ $9 million expiring contract is a viable asset for any team looking to rent a player for the second half of the season. He must consent to any dealing involving him, but would forfeit his free agent Bird Rights in the process. No deals are imminent, but GM’s across the league looking to improve their guard depth for a sustained playoff push are seriously eyeing the former All-Star who was once one of the league’s supreme floor generals.