Deron Williams: Should New Jersey Nets Shut Him Down for the Season?

Jim MancariCorrespondent IMarch 21, 2011

Deron Williams: Should New Jersey Nets Shut Him Down for the Season?

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    On Friday night against the Milwaukee Bucks, Deron Williams re-aggravated a prior wrist injury while driving to the hoop. He landed awkwardly on his right wrist and proceeded to roll over on it.

    His wrist went immediately numb, but he played through the pain for the rest of the game, which the New Jersey Nets wound up losing.

    According to the Bergen Record, the Nets have opted to sit Williams for a minimum of three games and re-evaluate the wrist at that time.

    The idea of possibly shutting Williams down for the season has been tossed around as well.

    But should the Nets do it?

    Here are five reasons the answer is a resounding yes.

5. Emergence of Sundiata Gaines

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    With Williams out, Sundiata Gaines will get more playing time. Gaines signed a multi-year contract with the Nets yesterday after signing back-to-back 10-day contracts.

    Jordan Farmar will see the bulk of the minutes as the starting point guard, but Gaines will continue to provide an energy boost off the bench for New Jersey.

    Gaines will be a factor next season and will have the chance to further increase his stock over the next month.

    The Nets have two able bodies that can do a solid job at the point guard position, so it’s not necessary for Williams to rush back.

4. Williams Thinks It Would Be a Good Idea

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    When talking to Al Iannazzone of the Bergen Record, Williams said he wouldn’t fight the team’s decision in how they handled the situation.

    Though he recently had a week off for the birth of his fourth child, Williams could use an extended break from all the hoopla surrounding his season.

    Regardless of if he signs with the Nets long-term, he has every intention of playing to the best of his abilities for New Jersey next season.

    On missing the rest of this season, Williams responded: “I’m going to see how it feels and who knows? I hate sitting out. It’s a strong possibility.”

3. Injury Has Been Ongoing

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    Even before the game Friday night, Deron Williams had wrist issues for a large chunk of this season.

    The Nets were likely aware of the problem prior to the trade and hoped that nothing too severe would happen.

    But their luck ran out, and the team must now make an important decision.

    While playing hurt, Williams had a terrific start to his Nets career, but the last few games have seen his numbers dwindle.

    He finished with five points on 1-of-13 shooting Thursday night and followed that up with a 4-for-13 shooting performance on Friday. Williams appeared frustrated by these two games.

    The last thing the Nets need Williams to be is frustrated, especially with his decision regarding his free agency approaching in the not-so-distant future.

2. Ample Time to Heal

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    Shutting Deron Williams down right now would give him ample time to fully recover in preparation for next season.

    Since he’s right-handed and the injury is affecting his right wrist, Williams feels pain constantly.

    Every shot, pass and dribble can potentially further aggravate the injury, so the Nets would be wise to treat their All-Star with care.

    Williams does not need surgery as of now. However, the injury will take at least four to six weeks to heal properly.

    Rather than risk further injury, the time is now for Williams to put on his street clothes for the remainder of the season.

1. Playoffs?

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    With three straight losses, the Nets remote shot at making the playoffs became an even more distant thought.

    New Jersey is seven games out of the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference with just 14 games to play.

    Barring a miracle, the Nets won’t be making the playoffs.

    Since the Deron Williams trade, the team has certainly shown an improvement and will likely challenge for a playoff spot next season.

    Williams will be the catalyst in a potential playoff run, so the Nets must ensure he is fully healthy. A great way to start would be the shut him down this season.

    The rest of the games are virtually meaningless, so there’s no need to compromise Williams’ health any further.

    Williams acknowledged that making the playoffs this year would be a long shot: “I think the future is bright here and that’s what everybody is looking forward to, so there’s no reason—I’m not saying we can’t make the playoffs, but it would be a stretch.”