NEW YORK — Deron Williams is moving to Brooklyn with the Nets, instead of back home to Dallas.
The All-Star point guard said on his Twitter page Tuesday night that he "made a very tough decision today" and posted a picture of the Nets' new team logo that accompanies their move from New Jersey to Brooklyn.
A person with knowledge of the decision said Williams told the team he was accepting their five-year contract worth $98 million. Contracts cannot be signed until July 11.
Williams, the top free agent available, chose to stay with the Nets over signing with the Mavericks, who hoped they could convince him to come back to the area where he grew up.
It's a huge triumph for the Nets as they prepare to move into the new Barclays Center to start the 2012-13 season. They gave up an enormous package to get Williams in a surprising February 2011 trade, sending promising forward Derrick Favors, point guard Devin Harris, two first-round draft picks and cash to the Utah Jazz.
But it was worth it for the Nets, who needed a franchise player with them to build buzz for their move to New York.
Williams wanted to make a quick decision before he reports to training camp in Las Vegas with the U.S. men's basketball team on Thursday. He met with both teams Monday, the day after free agency opened, and made his Twitter posting at about 7 p.m. ET.
Williams' decision comes a day after the Nets agreed to a deal with Atlanta for All-Star guard Joe Johnson, and amid reports they are still hoping to make a deal with Orlando for Dwight Howard. Brooklyn also has a deal in place to re-sign versatile free agent forward Gerald Wallace.
Just two years after a 70-loss season, the Nets will have one of the NBA's best backcourts and are poised to make a quick move up the Eastern Conference standings.
Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks had spoken openly about their desire to bring Williams back to North Texas, where he starred at The Colony High School. Mark Cuban's team never made much attempt to defend its 2011 NBA title, leaving key players such as Tyson Chandler and J.J. Barea leave through free agency so the Mavs could save money for this summer's free agency.
But Dallas could only offer Williams a four-year deal worth about $75 million under the terms of the new collective bargaining agreement. And with the Nets' flurry of moves, may not even be able to offer a better team anymore
Williams averaged 21 points and 8.7 assists last season and has been one of the league's top point guards since entering the NBA as the No. 3 draft pick of the Jazz in 2005.
The Jazz decided to deal him at the 2011 deadline after a clash with former Utah coach Jerry Sloan, and without knowing if Williams would stay there long-term. The Nets had just been stung when the Knicks beat them to acquire Carmelo Anthony from Denver, and the Nets bounced back the next day by landing Williams.
Williams didn't always seem to enjoy playing in New Jersey, with the Nets spending the last two seasons in a temporary home in Newark. But he should play in front of packed crowds in Brooklyn as the main attraction at the Barclays Center
WARRIORS, CAVS ON ROY'S SHORT LIST: The Bay Area could be a landing spot for Brandon Roy's return to professional basketball.
The Golden State Warriors and Roy met earlier this week about him joining the team in the free agent's attempted comeback, a person familiar with the situation said Tuesday. The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks were preliminary, said the Warriors met with Roy on Sunday and were hoping to meet with the former Portland guard again this week. Nothing was scheduled yet
Roy, a three-time All-Star for Portland, announced his retirement in December after five seasons with the Trail Blazers because of chronic knee problems. The 27-year-old has averaged 19 points, 4.7 assists and 4.3 rebounds in 321 career games.
The 2007 NBA Rookie of the Year made the All-Star team from 2008-2010.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have also expressed interest in the former Portland star. The Cavs, who are approximately $20 million under the salary cap, will undoubtedly give Roy a thorough medical checkup before deciding whether to sign him.
LIN WILL VISIT HOUSTON: Jeremy Lin will visit the Houston Rockets today, two people with knowledge of the plans said, and the New York Knicks' restricted free agent is expected to get a contract offer.
The Rockets waived Lin last December and he was claimed by the Knicks, turning into a breakout star when he landed the starting point guard job. Now with Goran Dragic not expected to return, Houston may want Lin back.
One of the people told The Associated Press on Tuesday the Rockets are planning to make Lin a multiyear offer, though the Knicks can match it and have said they intend to keep him. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the negotiations were to remain private.
The undrafted guard from Harvard, the NBA's first American-born player of Chinese or Taiwanese decent, would fit nicely with the Rockets, who remain popular in Asia even after former center Yao Ming's retirement.
But both coach Mike Woodson and general manager Glen Grunwald have said the Knicks planned to keep Lin, who averaged 14.6 points and 6.2 assists in 35 games, 25 starts, before his season ended because of surgery to repair torn knee cartilage.
THUNDER EXTEND BROOKS' CONTRACT: Scott Brooks always believed he would be back as the coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder, even as his previous contract was surprisingly allowed to expire following the NBA Finals.
There were rumors that he would be replaced by 11-time NBA champion Phil Jackson or Jeff Van Gundy — which general manager Sam Presti discarded as "rubbish" — but Brooks remained confident.Comment on this story
"I knew it would work out," Brooks said Tuesday at a news conference to formally announce the deal he signed a day earlier. "This is where I wanted to be. This is the best situation for me. I couldn't ask for a better place to coach, to live, and I'm excited about the opportunity ahead of me."
Brooks reportedly now has a four-year deal worth more than $4 million annually, but the team isn't releasing the terms.
Brooks has built the Thunder into a championship contender since taking over around Thanksgiving 2008. The team had won just one of its first 13 games after relocating from Seattle to Oklahoma City. It went 23-59 that season, but improved enough to make the playoffs the next season, then the Western Conference finals the next season and then the NBA Finals this past season.
"Sam and I met before the season and he said, 'NBA Finals or adios,' so he put a lot of pressure on me," Brooks said in jest.