The agent for Deron Williams confirmed Thursday the All-Star point guard will not sign a contract extension with the New Jersey Nets and will instead become a free agent after this season, The Record (N.J.) reported.
The Nets were not expecting the 27-year-old to sign an extension, and Williams’ agent told the paper Thursday that the decision is financial and not indicative of his client’s desire to play elsewhere.
"Deron will not be signing the extension," agent Jeff Schwartz said. "Based on the new rules it doesn’t make any sense for him to sign the extension. It has nothing to do with how much he likes New Jersey. Because of the rules, he’s going to play the season out and opt out of his deal."
Under the new collective bargaining agreement, Williams would be able to sign a maximum two-year extension worth about $39 million. He has two years and $31 million remaining on his current contract, but can opt out of the deal and become a free agent at season’s end.
If Williams becomes a free agent, he could reportedly get as much as a five-year, $101 million deal from the Nets or a four-year, $73 million contract from another team.
The Nets are expected to move aggressively to convince Williams to stay as the team gets set to move to Brooklyn next season. The team is expected to pursue a trade with Orlando for superstar center Dwight Howard, or try to sign free agent centers Nene or Tyson Chandler in their effort to build a contender.
Williams, who was acquired last season by the Nets in a trade from Utah, played during the NBA lockout for Turkish club Besiktas.