Three great fits for Deron Williams

After Dwight Howard's situation is resolved, Williams will be the next domino to fall

Originally Published: February 18, 2012
By David Thorpe | ESPN Insider
New Jersey NetsNathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty ImagesDeron Williams has a big decision to make this offseason.

It's good to be Deron Williams. Not just because he's a great player, of course, but because the league's best center and one of its top three players, Dwight Howard, reportedly wants to play with him on the New Jersey Nets. It almost seems predestined that the two will join forces, as we've seen several star players do since the summer of LeBron James' "Decision."

Well, not exactly. There is still the chance that Howard could be dealt this season to one of the other teams on his "list," or that he'll end up signing some place other than New Jersey (and personally, I'm not so sure that Howard is definitively leaving the Orlando Magic). And while Williams and Howard could work out a way to both sign with the Dallas Mavericks or another franchise this offseason, there's a good chance that Williams could be making his free-agency decision completely on his own.

Williams is a dynamic point guard, and would have a positive effect on any team he joined (including presumed Howard favorites like the Mavs and Los Angeles Lakers). But on which teams could he have the biggest impact? The three franchises listed here currently have the talent on their rosters to make an immediate jump into title contention if Williams chose to sign with them in free agency.

Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks have something no other team on this list has -- multiple All-Star players who have each played in multiple All-Star Games. We all know about Joe Johnson, who is still a very good player and a guy who has proved in the playoffs to be a tough guy to slow down over the course of a series, but the real draw here is the guy so few people actually think about: Al Horford.


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