Deron Williams Unsure if the Lakers Can Afford to Sign Him

by June 07, 2012

Deron Williams will soon be an unrestricted free agent, and he knows that he’ll be a very hot commodity. Regarding the Los Angeles Lakers, DWill is fully aware of theirΒ worrisome payroll issues. Per the LA Times: “I know they don’t have any money to just go out and sign me,’ said Williams, who has a player option for $17.8 million next season with New Jersey. ‘It’ll have to be some kind of deal.’ […] Even though the Lakers bolstered their backcourt by acquiring Ramon Sessions before the March 15 deadline, he averaged only 6.8 points on 35.3% shooting in the team’s Western Conference semifinals loss to Oklahoma City. Sessions is reportedly expected to opt out of his $4.55-million player option in hopes of getting a long-term contract. Meanwhile, Williams’ skill set vastly exceeds Sessions. Williams’ 21 points per game ranked third among the NBA’s guards and his 8.8 assists per game ranked sixth among guards. ‘I used to hate them. They pushed us out of the playoffs three years in a row,’ Williams said of the Lakers, referring to when they beat Williams’ Utah Jazz each postseason from 2008 through 2010. ‘We’ll see.’ The Lakers have already committed $78.4 million to only seven players next season. It appears likely they will shop forward Pau Gasol, whom they owe $38.3 million over the next two years — a contract that appears extra-hefty considering his reduced role and 12.5-point in the 2012 playoffs. But numerous reports have indicated a Gasol-for-Williams swap would be unrealistic.”