NBA Franchise Notes: Teams Get Creative In Battle For Free Agent Deron Williams
In N.Y., Tim Bontemps notes as the Nets prepare for G Deron Williams to become an unrestricted free agent Sunday, they “arranged for a flatbed truck” to be outside his home with “a large sign on the back to celebrate his 28th birthday.” It read, “Happy Birthday Deron! from your Brooklyn family." Williams' wife, Amy, posted a picture of the sign on Twitter and wrote to her husband, “This is parked in front of our house!” Meanwhile, the Mavericks, “not to be outdone,” enlisted the help of the MLB Rangers, who last night displayed on their scoreboard: “Happy Birthday Deron Williams Be A Maverick!” (N.Y. POST, 6/27).
DECISIONS, DECISIONS: In Philadelphia, John Smallwood notes the 76ers “face a lot [of] decisions this summer that will lay the foundation for the next few seasons,” and team President & GM Rod Thorn should “not make those calls.” Thorn is "a lame duck,” and unless coach Doug Collins is “already secretly the ‘grand basketball god of everything,’ he should not" be the making the decisions either. Smallwood: "These crucial decisions should be made by the new team president/general manager, a guy the Sixers might not hire for up to another year” (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 6/27).
YOUR BIGGEST FAN: In Memphis, Kyle Veazey notes prospective Grizzlies buyer Robert Pera and his father Larry Goldfield are “estranged.” But Goldfield said, "I happen to love my son, regardless of our estrangement. I love him and I'm proud of him, so I follow him.” He added, "He's like the anti-Mark Cuban. He's got the same enthusiasm, but he doesn't show it. I think he's going to be a very enthusiastic owner and he's going to have high ambitions for the team" (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 6/27).