Does the Deron Williams Trade Make the New Jersey Nets Playoff Contenders?

Kyle McMorrowCorrespondent IFebruary 23, 2011

DENVER - APRIL 06:  Head coach Avery Johnson of the Dallas Mavericks reacts to a call by a referee as they face the Denver Nuggets during NBA action at the Pepsi Center on April 6, 2007 in Denver, Colorado. 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 Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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In a shocking trade that even left Deron Williams at a loss for words according to Utah Jazz play-by-play announcer David Locke, the New Jersey Nets swooped in and stole the All-Star guard from Utah.

While they did surrender a few draft picks and their 2010 first-round selection, rookie Derrick Favors, the Nets were able to upgrade the point guard position while eliminating Devin Harris, who was becoming increasingly unhappy in New Jersey.

So, where does this leave them?

Over .500?

In the playoffs, perhaps?

Not even close.

The Nets have 17 wins on the season, are 11 games out of the playoffs and still are left without somebody who can carry a team like Amare Stoudemire has in New York.

If you think Deron Williams can put together a season that will catapult this team into the playoffs, you are sorely mistaken.

Looking around at the pieces surrounding Williams, I see center Brook Lopez, a seven-footer that only averages five rebounds and one block per game. Small forward Travis Outlaw is signed to a very bad contract and has been a disappointment this season. Sasha Vujacic and Jordan Farmer are not with the Los Angeles Lakers anymore for a reason. 

The Nets just don't have the pieces to make a playoff run this season. They are too far behind, and just not talented enough.

It's true that the hardest positions to fill are point guard and center, and while the Nets have those two categories checked, the rest of the team is just not up to par with even the lowest seeds in the Eastern Conference.