DALLAS — If only he had known what some NBA players fear is soon to come — a labor war in the summer of 2011 — Deron Williams might have done things differently when in 2008 he agreed with the Jazz on a three-year, max-money contract extension that includes a fourth-year player option.
Williams took the shorter deal in lieu of what could have been a full five-year extension.
Now — with owners seeking a drastic reduction in player payroll costs, including slashing the value of max-money deals — he faces the possibility of an extra year or two on his next contract being valued at roughly half of what it could have been.
"It stinks," said Williams, who is making $13.52 million this season and is scheduled to make $17.8 million if he opts in for the fourth extension season in 2012-13.
"I might have signed (for) another year. I might have did a five-year deal," added the Jazz point guard, who is in Dallas to play in his first NBA All-Star Game on Sunday. "You know, you've just got to kind of wait and see what happens. ... There's no way of telling right now. Just find out what Billy (Hunter, the NBA Players Association's executive director) is saying, and listen to what they've got going."
Williams was among several NBA All-Stars vowing Friday to get more involved in the labor-talks process in the future, saying that doing so is "very important, because it's no secret that a lockout is a possibility — a strong possibility."