Let’s start here: Brooklyn owes Deron Williams $63 million over the next three seasons. Fully guaranteed.
Williams is a good point guard — 16 points a game, true shooting percentage of .564, 6.1 assists to 2.2 turnovers a game — but he is no longer great. Physically his chronic ankle issues have slowed him, he is not the same guy as the one offered that massive contract.
And things are not getting a whole lot better — he said he likely needs surgery on both ankles again this summer.
An MRI is coming Friday but Williams seems to think there will be surgery, he told ESPNNewYork.com.
“I think so. I think it is,” Williams replied Thursday when asked about the possibility of undergoing surgery. “Just to clean [stuff out], it’s nothing major.”
Three times this season Williams had PRP blood platelet injections and cortisone injections in his ankle, he also had an anti-inflammatory injection before Game 7 against the Raptors. All of that allowed him to play, but he’s not the player that used to be discussed in the same sentence as Chris Paul.
Williams was frustrated in the wake of the Nets loss to the Heat — point guard is a position where teams try to exploit the Heat but Williams didn’t take great advantage of that.
“I feel like I’ve kind of let people down, so I don’t like feeling like that,” Williams said. “I take my job seriously, I work hard in the offseason, I work hard every day. It’s just real frustrating not to be able to play how I’m capable of playing.”
The Nets are in a bind this summer, with a massive payroll for an aging roster. There are only a couple ways they can realistically improve, and a healthy Deron Williams is one of them.
Carmelo Anthony can flat-out score the rock — that has never been the question. Even hurting last season for many of the 40 games he played, he averaged 24.2 points a game, had a true shooting percentage of 53.1 percent (right near the league average) while having the entire weight of the Knicks offense on his shoulders (32.2 usage rate, fifth highest in the NBA). When people (or players) talk about him being overrated, the discussion turns to defense or if he makes his teammates better. But there should be no doubt Anthony is an elite scorer.
He thinks he will be for a while longer — like another five years. Via Ian Begley of ESPN:
In fact, the 31-year-old Knicks star is confident that he can play at a high level for the next “four or five years.”
“Without a doubt. Without a doubt,” Anthony said after the Knicks’ final training camp practice on Saturday.
The Knicks better hope that’s true, they already made that bet with that massive five-year contract they gave him last summer.
Anthony’s age combined with him coming off knee surgery have a lot of people — myself included — expecting him to take a step back. Not a big one, but he is coming up at the point in his career where some open shots he used to get are now contested because he’s half-a-step slower, and some of those looks don’t fall as often. His jumper isn’t suddenly going to look like Rajon Rondo‘s, ‘Melo is going to get his points, but he may not be as efficient.
Fortunately, the Knicks have an improved supporting cast around him this season. That should take some offensive load off his shoulders, and maybe the Knicks offense will see better ball movement and start to resemble the triangle. If it’s just more isolation Anthony, it’s not going to be pretty.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore‘s contract.
General manager Vlade Divac announced the move Saturday.
McLemore was Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2013. He averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season.