NBA Trade Speculation: Players New Jersey Nets Must Ditch
As of right now, the New Jersey Nets are a bad team. They have suffered through injuries this season to every one of their starters. Brook Lopez, the team's leading scorer from last season, has not stepped on the court yet because of a broken foot, while Deron Williams, DeShawn Stevenson, Mehmet Okur, Damion James, MarShon Brooks and Kris Humphries have all missed games.
In that scramble, King signed former New York Knick Shawne Williams and former Dallas Maverick DeShawn Stevenson to contracts, which, as of now, look like mistakes.
The rest of the Nets roster is filled with role players and features, at most, five legit NBA starters in Deron Williams, MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries, Brook Lopez and possibly Anthony Morrow, who may be better suited to come off the bench.
The team is in need of a makeover. Here are five players the Nets should ditch.
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Coming off his best season in the NBA last year with the New York Knicks, when he started 11 games, averaging 20.7 minutes per game while scoring 7.1 points per game, Shawne Williams was rewarded with a two-year contract from the New Jersey Nets.
Williams was brought in for his three-point shooting. Last season, he shot 40 percent from deep. This season, he's shooting just 24 percent, as he hit just 10 out of the 41 he shot from beyond the arc.
Williams has also been injured with a foot stress fracture, which has already cost him four games. The injury will require surgery in the offseason and is going to remain an ongoing problem for the rest of the season.
He is a 6'9'' stretch four who does not rebound or give much effort on defense. All he does is set up in the corner to shoot an open three. If he is making the three, he can be serviceable, but if not, he is useless.
If Williams can find his shot again, maybe the Nets can trick a team into taking his expiring contract next season, because they should not be looking to re-sign him after his current contract.
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Johan Petro is one of those players that make me cringe when he gets called into the game. He is a legit seven-footer who does not take advantage of his size. He has career averages of 4.8 points and 3.9 rebounds per game.
Petro is a bad defender that seems to find himself in the wrong position more often than not while trying to rebound. He is too slow to guard the faster bigs and too weak to guard most of the others.
On the offensive side, he is clumsy on the court, often mishandling passes down low. He refuses to take it to the rim, as he continually sets up for his patented flat-footed jumper right by the free-throw line that actually goes in from time to time.
Petro still has another year left on his contract after this season for $3 million-plus.
Unfortunately, it looks like the Nets will just have to live with Petro, since it will be extremely hard to find a willing trade partner.
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It's hard to see what DeShawn Stevenson contributes, since he came into the season as a late signing and out of shape. He has also had knee problems, which kept him out two games.
The one stat you can measure with Stevenson is his 2.9 points per game this year, down from his 7.6 career-points-per-game average. Also, his three-point shot, which he relies on heavily, has not been connecting this season, as he is only hitting them at 27 percent a clip so far.
Stevenson is in his 11th season and may be on the decline. As he is getting slower, his man-on-man defense is starting to suffer.
He is still serviceable since he brings toughness and championship experience. While he cannot defend the way he was capable of defending for long stretches of games in the past, he can still be a shutdown defender in a playoff series.
This can be useful to a playoff team in need at the trade deadline, and the Nets might be able to get out of his contract, freeing up more cap space.
Anthony Morrow is one of the best three-point shooters in the league. He started the season in a bit of a slump, shooting for just 33 percent from three before raising it back up to have a 44 percent shooting average.
He is averaging 12 points per game, matching his career average. He is not playing bad.
That is why Morrow should not be traded for salary reasons, because he is not worth it. He is, but only if he brings back a player who can do more. O.J. Mayo can be an example.
Morrow does not defend, cannot drive strong to the rim or rebound very well. He is not a starter because he has too many holes in his game.
What he is is a great luxury off the bench. Rookie MarShon Brooks has already surpassed him as the starter since he has shown to be a much better all-around offensive player.
The Nets need more players who are starting quality as of right now; not one-trick ponies like Morrow.
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Jordan Farmar is playing some of the best basketball of his career this season. As a 7.5 points per game career scorer, he is averaging 11.4 points per game this month, twice scoring over 20.
This is all about selling high. If the New Jersey Nets can package Farmar to get back a better player, such as O.J. Mayo, or a serviceable big, it will be in their best interest. Bigs are harder to find then scorers like Farmar.
Sundiata Gaines can provide a similar spark off the bench that Farmar provides when given the minutes, as proven when coach Avery Johnson had Gaines over Farmar in the rotation in the start of the season.
Farmar can be more useful to other teams who do not have a starting point guard like Deron Williams.