2010 NBA's Greatest Mystery: What's Wrong With Terrence Williams?

Ian SherwinContributor IJanuary 6, 2011

Terrence Williams scoring over an opponent
Terrence Williams scoring over an opponentJim McIsaac/Getty Images

Terrence Williams is unquestionably one of the most talented young players in the NBA. Williams can play nearly any position due to his speed, strength, and super-human leaping abilities. Yes, he lacks a reliable shot, but that's something that he can work on. If Williams is such a great player, why has he been treated like a scrub during his tenure on both the New Jersey Nets and now the Houston Rockets? There must be something going on.....

Williams was drafted eleventh overall in the 2009 NBA Draft by the New Jersey Nets. While in college, Terrence played for Coach Rick Petino at Lousiville. The 6 foot 6 hybrid guard-forward averaged during his senior year 12.5 points per game, 8.6 rebounds per game, 5 assists per game, 2.3 steals per game, and almost a block per game. His stats held him out to be an extremely versatile player, in which he actually tends to be. The Nets thought that he would fit in with their young core, and would complement Brook Lopez and Devin Harris. When he was given the chance to play in the NBA, especially towards the end of last season, Terrence looked like a superstar. During the Nets' dismal 2009-2010 season, he was one of the few players to give you hope about the future. 

Coming into this year, everyone thought that Williams would be a focal point of the Nets' offense. However, immediately following the hiring of Coach Avery Johnson, Williams was basically relegated to the dog house. Early in the season, Williams received very little playing time. No one could understand why Coach Johnson wasn't giving him a chance, especially when players such as Anthony Morrow, Jordan Farmar, and Travis Outlaw were all playing ahead of him. 

Then came the first big "incident" with Williams. Williams hurt himself while allegedly trying to dunk over Brook Lopez. Terrence missed a few games, and this seemed to have angered the Nets' management.

Then came further allegations about Williams. We never received a clear cut answer as to what these problems were, but supposedly they related to tardiness issues. I don't believe it for one second. I find it hard to believe that someone with as much talent as Terrence Williams would basically be deep-sixed solely because he was late to shoot-arounds. 

Then came the demotion. Williams was sent down to the NBA's D-league to work on his game. My question is, "Why couldn't he work on his game in the NBA?" Billy King and crew repeatedly stated that this was not a demotion but rather an "opportunity." Let's be real.....

Due to rampant Net injuries, Williams was called back up shortly after his trip to the Nets' Massachusetts' D-league team. About a week after returning to the Nets, Williams was sent to the Houston Rockets in a three team deal, in which the Nets acquired Sasha Vujacic from the Lakers and a first-round draft pick from Houston. I didn't get this deal then, and I don't get it now. Why would you give up such a talented player for basically nothing? I knew that the Nets' brass would try to sell this as a way of bettering their trade-bait for Denver (the Nets want Carmelo if you didn't already know this), but still. Something didn't and still does not feel right.

Since being traded to Houston, Williams has only played in two games. The Houston staff has stated that they do not want to shake up their currently successful rotation with the addition of Williams into the lineup. My question in response to that statement then is why did they trade for Williams if they had no intention to use him?

I feel like there is more to the Terrence Williams story then we all know. The guy has as much potential as any other player in the NBA, and when he has been given the opportunity to play, he has shown that he's already capable of producing in the league. All I want is a real honest answer as to why Terrence Williams has been treated like a stiff all season long.