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The Future of the Franchise

Today will set the direction of the team for the next decade. I don't think that's too much of a hyperbole. Of course I'm talking about the meeting today with Deron and his agent and the front office brass of the Jazz.

It's a foregone conclusion that Deron will sign. The part that is up in the air is to the length of his renewal. Chris Paul just signed a three-year deal with an option for the fourth. I don't know what affect that will have on Deron's contract. I have nothing to back this up of course, but it seems that Deron marches to his own beat and will do what's best for him. I don't think CP's contract will influence his decision.

The range of his new deal will be from 3-5 years. It's not likely he'll sign for the guaranteed five years. And really, what incentive is there? For a middle-tier player, there's plenty of incentive. There's security. But for a superstar player like Williams, being able to opt-out is almost a necessity. The security issue is non-existent as teams with cap room would line up to sign him.

It would be dumb to say that he's not interested in the money. Isn't that the reason why most people dream of playing professional basketball? One reason he would want to opt out would be to get a bigger payday.

But that said, Deron wants to win. That's it. I don't think I have to explain that to most readers. I don't know of many other players in the league that have his desire to win. It really harkens back to the golden age when players like Jordan and Bird just would not let their teams lose. Sure, nobody likes to lose. But it really pains these players to not win. And there aren't too many like that today. There are a lot of good and even great players, but that competiveness is something that makes up their DNA.

So, like I said, the next decade or so of the franchise hinges on this signing. It's not the only thing that will factor into it. A lot more will have to do with how the FO does. But what it will show is how confident Williams is with the direction that the team is going. The biggest reason he would want to opt out is to go to another team that's committed to winning. But if he feels that he will always have a good team around him and a committed front office, there's no reason to think he would want to go anywhere else.