New Jersey Nets: 5 Reasons Team Should Be Fearing Deron Williams' Future
On Sunday, Deron Williams scored 57 points, and although it was against the Charlotte Bobcats, the worst team in the league, other superstars had their chance to do it but didn't. Williams has become the New Jersey Nets leading scorer out of necessity. Since Brook Lopez, the team's leading scorer from last season, went down in the preseason, Williams has shown that not only can he be a distributor but a devastating scorer as well.
If Williams doesn't score 40 or more again, the Nets will go back into obscurity. That is unless they trade for Dwight Howard at the deadline, which will lengthen Williams stay with the Nets. If New Jersey Nets general manager Billy King does not swing a deal, the team should start fearing about their point guard's future.
While it will actually be better to wait for Dwight Howard to come in free agency so the Nets can keep all their assets, playing the waiting game leaves Williams and the team with more uncertainty.
Nobody knows what is going to happen in the next few months. Maybe the Orlando Magic makes the decision to keep Howard and they go on a Finals run, which persuades him to stay with his current team.
Maybe, over the course of a few months, Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks are able to make the proper roster moves in order to free up enough salary cap room to sign both Williams and Howard as free agents.
Here are five reasons the Nets should fear Williams’ future.
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The New Jersey Nets roster is just not good. There is Deron Williams, an All-Star, and everyone else. There's a reason why he had to score 57 points in order to beat the worst team in the league by just three.
Brook Lopez is one of the bright spots on the team, but he is flawed, along with everyone else on the roster. He has a great offense game as he showed scoring 20 points per game last season and this season's 38 points against Dallas Mavericks. But at 7'0'', he has failed to grasp the concept of rebounding. He also plays no defense. All of the points are nice but when you give up 18 points to a center like Brendan Haywood, there's a problem.
MarShon Brooks is a promising rookie who was the team's second-leading scorer before Brook Lopez came back into the starting lineup. Ever since then, Brooks has been slowed and looks confused. This is understandable, since they have to learn how to play together.
Anthony Morrow is one of best three-point shooters in the league. This season he added a little more to his offensive game with a running floater and a midrange jumper. The problem is, he is too inconsistent. Some nights he can be a big factor in a game while other nights he contributes next to nothing.
With DeShawn Stevenson's lack of scoring, there is no way he should be the team's starting small forward even if he is, or was a great defender. They're just too many games when he scores in single digits. For the season, he's only averaging just 2.8 points per game.
Kris Humphries, is the team's second-best player since Lopez is injured. He is a good rebounder and a decent defender. But, he really doesn't have a polished offensive game as he scores mostly on put backs or tip-ins.
Jordan Farmar has been good this season coming off the bench as he is averaging a career-best 10.3 points per game.
Shelden Williams has a similar game to Humphries but he can't even score on put backs or tip-ins.
Gerald Green, who was just signed to a 10-day contract, has shown some promise in just three games. In three games, he's averaging 7.7 points per game and has shown how much he can run the floor and how athletic he can be as he has been the recipient of two monster alley-oops.
Johan Petro is just not worth talking about. But, he has looked better last few games, for the season is averaging four points and 3.4 game.
The point is, when a D-Leaguer, Green, can come to your team and look like your best option at starting small forward, you are in desperate need of a talent upgrade.
Brooklyn Unable to Draw
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Building a $1 billion basketball arena in the heart of Brooklyn connected to New York's third largest transportation hub seems like a great idea.
The Barclays Center should be a palace and most likely the best arena in the league.
The arena is supposed to come with a fanbase attached to it since Brooklyn has been looking for a professional sports team to call their own ever since the Dodgers left in 1957.
But, there is still a problem with the other basketball team of New York, as of right now the only team in New York, the Knicks. Are the people of Brooklyn going to transfer their allegiances immediately over to their Brooklyn Nets or is it going to be a process?
Will free agents choose to play there? Will it take a few years for the team to build in Brooklyn? Or will free agents embrace the battle between the Nets and Knicks for the city's basketball supremacy?
Unwilling to Wait
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If the New Jersey Nets are unable to land Dwight Howard at the trade deadline or in free agency, they'll have to rebuild through the draft and not through franchise-changing centers. This process will take a little more time than it would have if they were to secure Howard services.
If Howard does not come, the future still remains bright with the Nets, that is if Deron Williams chooses to re-sign. They would still have a young Brook Lopez, they're promising rookie MarShon Brooks, their own lottery pick in a very strong draft and possibly the Houston Rockets' first rounder.
At 12-26, the Nets are on their way to a high lottery pick. In this years draft, they can possibly land a superstar of the future in Anthony Davis, Harrison Barnes or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
They would also have tons of salary cap room to spend on free agents or to work with other teams to absorb a star players high salary.
The question is, will Williams be willing to wait? He is 27 years old and in his prime now. He is at a point in his career when all he wants to do is win. If he stays with the Nets, he may or may not get that chance sooner rather than later.
Too Much Losing
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When Deron Williams was traded to a subpar team when he came to the New Jersey Nets, he may have expected some losing. But, with a record of 12-26, this is a lot of losing.
The Nets had a lot of cap room in this year's offseason to sign a big-name free agent like Tyson Chandler, Nene Hilario or Jamal Crawford, amongst others. But, instead they chose to wait it out to take their chances on Dwight Howard.
This would not have been all that bad of a plan if Brook Lopez did not go out in the preseason with a broken foot. Since then, the team, whose offense was centered around the young big man, had to be transformed into an offense centered around Deron Williams.
Then came the other injuries. DeShawn Stevenson has missed games, Jordan Farmar has missed games, Damion James and Shawne Williams are out for the season. Even Mehmet Okur, who the Nets traded for once Lopez went down, has been out 18 games due to back issues.
This season has been a disaster. It also has probably been the most losing that Williams has ever faced in his life. Williams was a winner in college with Illinois, as he led them to the National Championship game. With the Utah Jazz, he consistently made the playoffs.
At the beginning of the season, the losing looked like it was taking an effect on Williams as he was showing poor body language to his team and was sulking. Now, Williams almost seems to have embraced it or understands why it is happening.
If he decides to stay with the Nets, he just might have to deal with more losing.
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If the New Jersey Nets are unable to trade for or to sign Dwight Howard as a free agent and if no other moves are made to bring in more talent, the losing will continue. If this happens, the Dallas Mavericks are ready to pounce on Deron Williams.
By not re-signing Tyson Chandler or DeShawn Stevenson, Mark Cuban and the Mavericks have been clearing up their salary cap room to make a big splash in the upcoming free agency.
Because Dallas is Williams' hometown, the Mavs may be a real threat to the Nets, as they can sign him this offseason.
Besides Dallas being his hometown, they also offer a pairing with Dirk Nowitzki. If Dallas still has money left over after signing Williams, they have Mark Cuban, a proactive owner willing to spend.
While Dallas may prove to be the perfect destination for Williams, a lot of what if's have to happen.