NBA Trade Rumors: Los Angeles Lakers Must Pounce on Nets' Deron Williams

Gabe Zaldivar@gabezalPop Culture Lead WriterJanuary 18, 2012

PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 13:  Deron Williams #8 of the New Jersey Nets in action during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on January 13, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Nets defeated the Suns 110-103.   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.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Slumped shoulders, sulking and losses that continue to mount mean just one thing: The time has come for Deron Williams to be traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. 

Ramona Shelburne of ESPN writes on the latest rumors to come from New Jersey, and the signs point to a disgruntled star point guard. 

The team that was supposed to be on the way up and looking to brighter days is saddled with three losses and a big man that has left the starting lineup with injury. 

There is no way to make up for the loss of Brook Lopez in the short term, and its effects are not lost on Deron Williams for the long term. Without added talent, the Nets are a sinking ship. The hope that Howard comes to New Jersey this season has been all but extinguished. 

There is increasing talk that Williams could simply walk to a team like the Dallas Mavericks instead of continuing in misery in New Jersey. But there is another route that Shelburne throws out into the trade ether. 

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.

The point isn't lost that the Lakers were initially trying to trade for Chris Paul before Dwight Howard entered the picture. 

This team has been hungry for a big point guard that can actually deliver some level of consistent production. 

Williams, for his part, played fairly coy when asked about a move to Los Angeles. 

I've had that since I was in Utah, Laker fans wanting me to come here. It's definitely flattering. I'll address all that when the time is right. I like the warm weather out here. I live right up the street in San Diego.

Despite the Nets' woes, Williams is having a solid season, posting 18 points and 8 assists per game. That would trump what Lakers are getting from Derek Fisher, who has a paltry 4.9 points per contest. 

The Nets are also starved for a big man, and the Lakers have two in Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. While the Lakers would give up a tremendous advantage in size, they would get a player that can run the floor and stay in front of some of the best guards in the Association. 

A possible trade has to be examined because it works for both teams. Williams looks ever more likely to leave New Jersey for nothing, and the Lakers have a huge hole at the point guard position. 

Having Howard and Williams in New Jersey was a nice idea and a fine gamble, but it failed. It's time to pick up the scraps and get something back for one of the best guards in the NBA.