Deron William signs a three year contract with a fourth year at the player's discretion with the Utah Jazz.
The Utah Jazz wanted their All-Star and Olympian point guard Deron Williams to sign a five year extension. Williams signed for three. Williams wanted the league maximum, under salary cap rules, and he got it.
What else did Deron want in order to continue playing in Utah?
Nobody can argue that Williams hasn't earned his reported $50 million dollars over the next three years with up to an additional $20 million for the fourth.
Truth is, Utah is happy to pay him, especially when compared to Andre Kirilenko's Swiss bank. Williams is an overachiever who has quickly risen to become one of the best point guards in the entire league.
Deron gave a couple of reasons, off the record, for refusing the longer contract.
To loosely summarize, Williams wants to play for the current team only, not just any old version of the Utah Jazz. He was asking for a commitment from Jerry Sloan and Carlos Boozer.
We know that both Mehmet Okur and Carlos Boozer must exercise their contractual player options in order to stay with the team past the upcoming season.
What Jazz fans, and even Jazz management, were unsure of was how long Jerry Sloan would be at the helm.
Deron Williams also wanted an answer to that question before committing to this new contract.
Official details are rarely released on these kinds of decisions, so I will speculate.
Seeing that Deron did sign, we can assume that Sloan promised at least one more season as head coach with the goal of winning a title and then a championship defense season.
For those of you who don't know Jerry Sloan, this is not a college football coaching promise. If he said it, it will happen. Beyond that, there is no commitment.
Let's be honest, all small market team's chances have actually improved greatly by the NBA ref gambling scandal. I wonder how much they won by not calling Michael Jordan for pushing off Bryon Russell.
Of course Okur, Boozer, and Kyle Korver would not opt-out after next season if they actually were defending a championship. Boozer will likely leave after next season if they don't win. Pat Riley has already expressed interest in him playing for Miami, Boozer's hometown.
Of course these are all assumptions, but given this scenario, the Utah Jazz must win the NBA Championship this year to continue as a cohesive unit. Otherwise they could lose three key players and their hall of fame head coach.
Then Deron Williams would be left to help re-build a small market franchise. Not something that any NBA superstar in his prime looks forward to.