Moving 13 miles away to Brooklyn hasn’t been enough to bring relevancy to the Nets franchise.
Set to debut at the Barclays Center, a billion dollar arena set to open its doors for the first time in just 89 days, but the biggest question facing the Nets is if it will have any talented players to put on the court.
2007 marked the final time the three would play together, the Nets posted a .500 record and qualified for the post season.
Ever since, the team has struggled drawing fans, ranking last in attendance two of the past three seasons and after collecting numerous first round draft picks, it abandoned its plan of rebuilding through the draft and instead chased All-Star talent.
The risk of acquiring Williams was known immediately, as his contract was set to expire in within 16 months of the trade and he announced he would not sign an extension at any point before he became a free agent.
In the deal, Utah acquired former All-Star point guard Devin Harris, the rights to Derrick Favors, the second overall pick of the 2011 NBA Draft and the rights to select Enes Kanter, the third overall pick of 2011 and a future first round pick of the Nets, top-seven protected in 2013 and top-six protected in 2014.
In his 67 games with the Nets, Williams has averaged 19.9 points and 9.5 assists per game and became the first player to represent the team at February’s All-Star game since Harris in 2009.
Starting at 12:01 a.m., any team in the league can pitch its offer to Williams, but reports have surfaced that only Brooklyn and the Mavericks have a realistic option of landing the three-time All-Star.
Williams attended high school less than 30 miles away from Dallas.
The Mavericks won the title in 2011, have Dirk Nowitzki, a regular season and Finals MVP that is more talented than any teammate Williams has ever played with and may even financial flexibility to pursue Dwight Howard as he becomes a free agent next summer.
During the 2012 NBA drat, Dallas shed the contract of Lamar Odom and acquired an $8.9 million trade exception in the deal, meaning the Mavericks can trade for any player making less than $8.9 million without sending anything back.
The exception can be used to make a deal with Orlando to try and acquire Howard in a trade instead of waiting for him to become a free agent.
In addition to a more talented roster, the Mavericks can offer Williams a four-year $75 million deal.
Brooklyn can offer a five-year $100 million contract, but so much of its roster in uncertain.
In an effort to convince Williams to stay with the organization, the Nets traded away its first round pick in this year’s draft to Portland for Gerald Wallace.
After just sixteen games, Wallace opted out of his contract to become a free agent.
To make matters worse, the first round pick dealt for Wallace would only remain with the Nets if it landed within the top-3 during the draft lottery.
The Trail Blazers obtained the pick when it turned into the sixth overall selection and used to take Damian Lillard, the most talented point guard in the draft class.
Unlike the Mavericks, Brooklyn has little to offer from the rest of its roster.
Only seven players are not free agents for the Nets and three were acquired as second round picks from Thursday night.
Williams is the most talented player of the 2012 free agent class but Brooklyn faces a long battle towards relevancy.
Once the spectacle of a new arena fails to draw fans, the Nets will once again struggle to draw fans.
Brooklyn’s failure to remain patient may prove to be more costly than its state of the art arena.