New Jersey Nets: What They Need to Do to Keep Deron Williams in Town
On February 23, 2011, within the midst of the over-hyped MeloDrama, another superstar was dealt. Utah Jazz PG Deron Williams (No. 8) was traded to the New Jersey Nets for Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, draft picks and possibly cash. Did the Nets make a good deal, or did they give up too much for Deron?
Well, truth be told, this question can't be answered quite yet. It's not really a matter of whether or not "D-Will" will play well because he will always perform with swagger. The X-factor will soon become whether or not he will sign a contract extension and play long-term for New Jersey.
If he signs, the Nets' management has finally gotten something right. If he doesn't, however, the Nets will be in a deeper hole than ever before, needing to rely on the draft as stars around the league will not trust the Garden State to be their NBA home.
So, what do they need to do? It starts with the Nets developing at least a mild tendency to win. New Jersey currently has a winning percentage of .288. That's just not going to cut it. If the Nets end the season with a win percentage under .300, you can say goodbye to Williams.
Utah may not have won a championship with him, but he helped them maintain a solid record. A .370 winning percentage is actually a very feasible goal for the Nets and can help convince Deron to stay, and they should really to aim to be a .500 team from the point of his addition through the end of the season.
Will The Nets Be Able To Get Deron Williams To Resign?
There are, on the other hand, a few loopholes to .300 winning percentage rule. The first is by winning big games. If the Nets fail to ever win in games against playoff contenders, such as the Spurs, Mavericks, Celtics and Bulls, to name a few, how can Deron (or anyone, actually) expect them to beat this teams in a series of seven. He's only been there for a short time, but once the tough games start to accumulate, the Jersey boys really need to bring their A-Game to keep D-Will in town.
The next item on the "Keep D-Will" to-do list is to satisfy him in terms of game techniques. He's never had serious off the field drama, fights or arrests. His problems with the Utah Jazz organization have come on the court, primarily with now-retired coaching legend Jerry Sloan.
Did Sloan retire because of Deron Williams, or was it just his time? Either way, Utah has lost its long-time coach and its standout all star, so they go back into rebuilding mode. The only difference between them and the Nets? If Deron doesn't re-sign, the process will start over and it will become very difficult to rebuild in a conference where superstars are teaming up to form mega-teams (see: Heat, Knicks).
Therefore, Deron will of course need to somewhat cooperate with the Nets coaches, but he is indeed the superstar. Sure, he's acted immature in the past about how everything should revolve around him. But in New Jersey, isn't that partially true? Nets coaches, listen to his suggestions; not only may they work, but also they will keep the lone superstar in town in the future.
The other reason is quite obvious: the money. As much as Deron Williams would like to win a championship, he would also love to enjoy pay day. The Nets know this, though. D-Will will likely have to be paid as a top 10 NBA moneymaker if he is to sign an extension to the Nets.
So, will they be able to pull it off? Well, it will be very tough. The reasons listed above are all essential in the Nets' quest to ink Deron Williams. Multiple stipulations, and in several different combinations, will need to happen before Deron picks up a pen.
In his mind, he may want to help form another Mega Team, because his credentials and past success perfectly fit the criteria to find some other free agents (Dwight Howard?) and create yet another supernatural franchise to take the NBA by storm in this new and exciting decade.
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