08:05 AM ET 01.19 | This season has already been a long one for Deron Williams, who since coming back from Europe has played for a Nets team that lost 11 of its first 14 games. Which leaves Williams in this strange place, waiting for things to turn around in New Jersey, or plotting an escape via free agency this summer if they don't. ... It is widely assumed around the NBA that Williams is ticketed to his hometown Dallas Mavericks as a free agent this summer if the Nets can't persuade him to stay. But lurking in the background -- as will be the case for as long as Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol are still on the roster and still healthy enough to trade -- are the Los Angeles Lakers.