Are the Philadelphia 76ers quietly pursuing free agent Deron Williams?

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Deron Williams Deron Williams #8 of the New Jersey Nets looks on in the first half against the San Antonio Spurs at Prudential Center on February 11, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.

It’s been widely reported top free agent All-Star point guard Deron Williams has narrowed his choices to the Brooklyn Nets or the Dallas Mavericks. What I witnessed during the New Jersey Nets last visit to Philadelphia on April 13th leads me to believe otherwise.


Arriving at the Wells Fargo Center this particular night, the doors to the locker rooms are just opening. Deron Williams was in town and I was looking forward to getting some time with him for The Starting Five.

Entering the locker room, I saw Deron about 25 feet away. I asked him if he was talking and he politely responded, “Not right now. Never talk before the game.” Cool, I can understand that.

So heading out to the floor, I notice Nets GM Billy King chatting with Aaron McKie. Aaron was probably thanking  Billy once again for making him such a rich man when King was GM of the Sixers during the 2000-01 season. This would be a great opportunity to get King’s feelings on the Nets move to Brooklyn and the recent news of Allen Iverson’s financial woes.

Billy and I talked about the recent success of the Sixers as well as reliving their 2001 Finals run led by the aforementioned Iverson. King said he had not talked to Allen in quite some time, but wished him well.

After wrapping up with King, I headed back to the tunnel to get some quotes from the Sixers. The tunnel leads to a hall passing the Nets locker room first, and after I hang a left, I’m about 50 feet from the home team’s locker room.

Approaching the Nets locker room, I notice Deron Williams talking to someone whose face I can’t see. The man is dressed in a navy sports coat and khaki colored slacks. As I move closer I recognize the gentleman as Sixers CEO Adam Aron.

I walk past them like they weren’t even there, but I felt like a kid walking into an adult conversation.

My first thought was Williams didn’t speak before games but he obviously meant the press. My second thought was what did Aron have to say so privately to Williams that they had to talk outside of the locker room?

I get halfway to the Sixers locker room, stop, and think I can’t let go of this that easily. I really hoped Aron walked away so I could get a word with him.

We nearly turn into one another.

Ron Glover: Wouldn’t it be nice to have him in a Sixers uniform.

Adam Aron: “Who?”

RG: Deron Williams.

AA: “Oh yes, it definitely would.”

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