Before the Dallas Mavericks signed once-great guard Deron Williams, his old team, the Brooklyn Nets, actually paid somewhere around $28 million to let Williams go. The complexities of salary caps and the NBA luxury tax made paying Williams not to play a reasonable option for the Nets. Williams remains enormously talented, even if his results lately have been inconsistent. The Mavs hope they’ll get gold out of Williams’ golden years. In fact, what they really want is for Deron Williams to be the next Mariah Carey.
Back in 2002, Virgin Records paid the famous 5-octave songbird Mariah Carey $28 million — just what the Nets paid Williams — not to make any more records. Here’s $28 million, they said, now you’re free to go. Carey said thanks for the cash — and boy did she go. Since then Carey has been a business phenomenon, delivering results for all her venture partners — on American Idol, on HSN, in the fragrance business, releasing a #1 greatest hits album and now with a multi-million dollar residency in Las Vegas. Bloomberg puts Mariah Carey’s net worth at “upwards of $520 million.” Turns out Carey took that $28 million and had nine lives left. The Mavs hope Deron Williams does something like the same.