I'll go ahead and say that I'm banking on LeBron James to repeat as the league's MVP. However, that doesn't mean that other players will not receive some serious looks for the prestigious award.
With the Nets franchise officially moved to Brooklyn, they seemed poised to make a splash this season by earning a playoff spot. They have a Core Four that will likely mesh well together, but also have a nice group of surrounding cast members to give them a deeper attack.
With Deron Williams leading this talented team, exactly how far can they go in the next few seasons?
If he and his teammates play up to their potential, probably pretty far.
As for Williams, a bad break-up in Utah followed by an unsuccessful first season with the Nets left him out of talks as one of the better players in the NBA. After signing a lucrative contract in the offseason, his expectations will be higher than ever.
Luckily for him, he is in the best position of his career to make his presence felt.
Williams put up nice averages of 21 points and 8.7 assists a game last season. The negative aspect of that is his lackluster 41 percent shooting on 18 attempts a night.
Yet, unlike his previous years in Utah, he didn't have any help in his first full season in New Jersey. Brook Lopez was hurt, Gerald Wallace doesn't necessarily dominate offensively and MarShon Brooks was just getting his feet wet within the league.
Now with a healthy and deeper team, thanks largely to the addition of Joe Johnson, Williams will have plenty of targets to utilize throughout the season.
Johnson is a premiere shooter who can stretch the floor for Brooklyn. Throw in Lopez in the paint along with some nice utility scorers and you create quite the offensive team.
This will simply take a lot of pressure off the All-Star point guard. Being able to spread the production throughout a game is what Williams excels at. He can score at will, but also knows how to draw the best efforts and uses out of his fellow teammates.
With a rather resourceful roster, Williams will learn to thrive. Look for him to have a better shot selection and possibly even average double-digit assists on the year.
Brooklyn will be successful for a lot of reasons. A motivated front office helps, but having a star player who can run an offense as good as Williams will make the key difference.
This of course leaves the notion that someone must be recognized for such a turnaround for the team. In all likelihood, it will be Williams who will lead this team to playoff basketball next season.
If the Nets do finish with a high seed in the Eastern Conference, there is no way you can keep Williams out of the MVP discussion.
He has both the skill and team, now let's see exactly what he can do to make some noise in the Nets initial Brooklyn campaign.