We know Deron Williams wants to finish his NBA career with the Utah Jazz. Why not, right? They’re good again. Utah is where he was good. Getting back to your roots can be a fulfilling experience, particularly when, at 32 going on 33, you’re nearing the end of your professional shelf life.
It helps, too, that Williams has real estate in Utah—two houses to be exact.
The following excerpt comes from an ESPN TrueHoop podcast featuring ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, Brian Windhorst and Big Wos, along with the Washington Post‘s Tim Bontemps (transcription via HoopsHype):
Deron Williams desperately wants to come back and finish his career in Salt Lake City, where he has not one but two homes, one of which George Hill is living in right now.
Even if the Jazz re-sign Hill this summer, they could use a quality backup. Shelvin Mack will bolt in free agency, and Raul Neto isn’t enough. Dante Exum has been playing better of late, but he’s still a drive-first-score-first playmaker. Williams, as the fourth guard in the rotation, definitely works.
But he needs the Jazz’s core to remain intact for it to be a possibility. If they don’t re-sign Gordon Hayward, they probably won’t re-sign Hill. And if they lose both of them, they have little use for an aging floor general who’s best served chasing rings.
Or maybe not.
If Hill leaves, this would open the door for a timeshare between Exum, Neto and Williams. And if Hayward follows him out, the Jazz might still feel they’ll be able to scrap and claw toward playoff contention, rendering Williams a good fit.
Hell, he might be a good fit no matter what the Jazz look like. Rudy Gobert’s new deal kicks in next season, while Rodney Hood and Exum are both extension-eligible this summer. Utah will need affordable no talent regardless of how Hill’s and Hayward’s forays into free agency play out. It seems like only a matter of time, then, before a Williams-Jazz reunion gains some real traction.