Tag: Deron Williams

Brooklyn Nets v Toronto Raptors - Game Seven

Report: Nets would consider trading Deron Williams. Good luck with that.


No contract in the NBA is untradable. Look no farther than the Brooklyn Nets, who swooped in to take Joe Johnson and his massive contract off the hands of the Atlanta Hawks. Before that we saw guys like Gilbert Arenas get moved when it made no sense. As Kevin Garnett has screamed into our television sets, “Anything is possible.

That said, some contracts are pretty darn close to impossible to move — and Deron Williams has one of them.

D-Will has gone from a guy mentioned in the same breath with Chris Paul to a good, above-average point guard who is vastly overpaid — he has three years, $63 million left on his contract. Ankle injuries have slowed him down, and he likely will have another surgery on those this summer.

But after a disappointing playoff run where he could not lead the Nets as was the plan, they will consider moving him, reports the New York guru that is Howard Beck of Bleacher Report.

There is an alternative, sources say, the Nets will not rule out: They could look to trade Williams this summer, retool around (Joe) Johnson and (Brook) Lopez, squeeze one more run out of Pierce and Garnett and hope for the best.

It’s hard to say what the Nets might get for a 29-year-old former All-Star with bad ankles and $63 million left on his contract, but it’s worth exploring. The Houston Rockets tried to acquire Williams last December, so it’s not inconceivable that another team desperate for point-guard help might inquire.

The problem for the Nets is this — a team might take Williams off your hands but you’re going to have to give them something they really want in addition. A sweetener if you will. The Nets don’t have a lot of those to offer up, they don’t have a first-round pick they could trade until 2020. There are not players on the roster that will thrill other teams, Mirza Teletovic and Mason Plumlee are the only names teams might consider.

As we told you before, making moves thinking only of the short term is a trademark of Nets GM Billy King, and owner Mikhail Prokhorov is encouraging that urge. He wants to win now, money be damned, so spend $190 million on payroll and taxes. Go collect big names like Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, don’t worry about the price.

Beck gets into all the problems that causes for the Nets, but in the end their biggest problem is the Deron Williams they got and signed to a max contract is not the Deron Williams they thought they were getting. If the Nets are going to turn things around and really contend in the short term, Williams has to revert to his old form or they have to move him and build in another direction.

Either of those outcomes are long shots.

Deron Williams says he may need surgery on both ankles this summer

Miami Heat v Brooklyn Nets - Game Four

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.

Blatche opting out, Pierce and Livingston free agents; Brooklyn has tough summer ahead

Brooklyn Nets v Miami Heat - Game Five

Nets’ owner Mikhail Prokhorov just paid $180 million in salary and luxury tax to win one game in the second round of the NBA playoffs.

And to assemble this older, one-and-done roster they traded away a lot of young players and draft picks.

Nets fans, things are going to get worse before they get better.

Paul Pierce is a free agent, Shaun Livingston is a free agent, and Andray Blatche says he is going to opt out and test the free agent market.

And even without those three, even if other guys with options (Andrei Kirilenko and Alan Anderson) opt out, the Nets payroll is above $85 million next season — more than $10 million above the luxury tax line. The Nets can pay more than anyone to keep Pierce (and they want to keep Livingston and Blatche), but that is going to come with a healthy tax burden.

One they have no choice but to pay. Not that Prokhorov seems to care. The question is does Pierce want to come back to a team destined for mediocrity? He dodged the question when ESPN New York asked.

“I haven’t really put much thought into it,” Pierce said of what his future holds and if he wants to remain a Net. “I put my whole focus into this season, it’s my last year of the contract. I will sit back and talk to the family and see where my options are from there and go from there.”

GM Billy King at the urging of Prokhorov built for this past season with no concern for the future — now they are stuck. The NEts don’t have a draft pick this year, next season the Hawks can swap picks with them, then in 2016 they again do not have a draft pick. Actually, they don’t have their own draft pick unfettered by a possible swap until 2019.

What they have is two more years of Joe Johnson at $48.1 million, three years of Deron Williams and his bad ankles (he says he may need surgery on both this offseason) at $63 million, another year of Kevin Garnett at $12 million (you really think he’ll retire and awl away from that?), plus there Marcus Thornton for one more year at $8.5 million.

What they have is a roster they are largely locked into. There is no easy way to get more athletic, younger, less expensive talent to replace the old guys. Teams are not trading young for old like they used to, not under this CBA.

The one ray of hope is Brook Lopez getting healthy — he is the best scoring center in the game. Problem is, the Nets could not figure out how to use him properly, their offense actually dipped two points per 100 possessions when he was one the court this season. The Nets didn’t find their identity until he was gone for the season and coach Jason Kidd was forced to go small, putting Garnett at the five and Pierce at the four.

The Nets have to find a way to better use Lopez.

Then they have no choice but to keep spending — the NEts need to bring back Pierce, Livingston and Blatche. If they can make a trade that sees them take on another bad contract but brings in real talent, they have to do it.

It’s a spiral of spending and getting older, it’s a road GM Billy King has always driven down and Prokhorov feels comfortable with. It’s not going to get them a title, they can’t just buy their way to a ring, they can’t get free agents, but they can’t get off this road now. Eventually they will need to strip it all down and rebuild, but with no picks for so long at this point they might as well just keep on trying to spend their way.

All the way to the second round.

In LeBron James vs. Brooklyn, LeBron wins. Heat now lead series 3-1

LeBron James, Andrei Kirilenko

It’s good to have LeBron James on your team.

He is the ultimate trump card. He can cover so many mistakes.

With the rest of his team playing unevenly, LeBron went into what he called “attack mode” and made Paul Pierce regret asking for the defensive assignment. LeBron hit 11-of-12 shots at the rim, knocked down 3-of-6 threes, scored 49 points on 24 shots and carried the Heat against a Nets team that was playing with desperation.

Then at the end LeBron got a little help from his friends — threes from Chris Bosh and Mario Chalmers, free throws from Ray Allen — and Miami won Game 4 in Brooklyn, 102-96.

Miami now leads the series 3-1 and can close it out Wednesday night back home.

LeBron’s 49 tied his career high (he would have had 50 if he hadn’t missed a free throw with one second remaining in the game. LeBron had the kind of night where you chat with Jay Z and Beyonce, then throw down a dunk.

(I bet he didn’t ask Beyonce about her sister. But he should have.)

Brooklyn put up a fight, as you should expect from a proud veteran squad. Also as should have been expected they couldn’t knock down threes at the pace they did in Game 3, going just 5-of-22 from beyond the arc in Game 4. Still, they fought back from being down nine in the third quarter to take the lead and make this a game down the stretch. Joe Johnson had 18 points (despite a hand injury in the third quarter, and Pierce had 16 points to lead the Heat.

Deron Williams had another “meh” game — 13 points on 5-of-14 shooting with seven assists and six rebounds. It wasn’t a bad game, but it wasn’t what they needed from him.

Miami’s supporting cast was pretty bland as well. Dwyane Wade was up and down but had 15 points. Chris Bosh stood around and watched LeBron work then finished with a dozen and hit a big three late. Ray Allen had 11.

But mostly, it’s good to have LeBron James on your team.

It was raining threes in Brooklyn as Nets hand Heat first loss of playoffs

Deron Williams

In a virtual must-win Game 3 at home the big-spending Brooklyn Nets threw out a starting lineup making $68.6 million.

But it was two guys making a combined $4.6 million and coming off the bench that were the spark.

Andray Blatche was attacking inside and had 15 points, shooting 5-of-7 inside 8 feet and keying the Nets in the first half. Mirza Teletovic had nine points in the third quarter (12 for the game) knocking down threes, all the while doing a good job defending LeBron James.

Combine that with the Nets having a hot shooting night from three, hitting 15-of-25 from beyond the arc, and the Nets got the win they needed.

Brooklyn pulled away in the third quarter and cruised to a 104-90 win, handing Miami its first loss of these playoffs. Miami still leads the series 2-1 with Game 4 coming Monday night.

The tale of this game can completely be told from beyond the arc.

Brooklyn not only hit 15-of-25, they were 11-of-18 from above the break. Johnson led the way hitting 5-of-7 on his way to 19 points n the night.

The Heat started out 2-of-2 from three then proceeded to hit 1-of-16 through the heart of the game. Miami hit a few more late to make the numbers look a little better, but in the third quarter the Nets did a much better job of getting back in transition to take away easy buckets, they clogged the paint to take away driving lanes and the Heat did not make them pay with the three ball.

The Nets played with a new energy (call it desperation?) from the opening tip. Early on Deron Williams was pushing the tempo, finding Johnson for a couple threes in transition. Nets attacking more in transition 15-10 early.

Yet they couldn’t pull away early because Miami opened hitting 8-of-11 shots, and because of LeBron James — he had 16 of his 28 points in the first quarter. The Heat put up 30 in the first frame and looked like they could just outscore the Nets. This was a two-point game at the half, the Nets up 51-49 and, like the first two games, it felt like the Heat were just waiting to kick it into another gear.

But from there the Heat just could not knock down shots, even missing a lot of open looks — they had just 14 points on 17 open jumpers, according to Synergy Sports. Teletovic did a good job on LeBron taking away easy driving lanes, turning him into a jump shooter in the second half. LeBron still had 28 points and was the one Heat player looking like he wanted to end the series Saturday night. Dwyane Wade had 20 points but needed 18 shots, Chris Bosh had a dozen points on 11 shots.

Meanwhile the Nets went on a 9-0 third-quarter run to pull away because they had balance. D-Will dished out 10 assists, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett combined for 24, Shaun Livingston was attacking the rim and finished with 12 points.

This felt like a playoff game — it got testy at points. Pierce got called for a flagrant foul for grabbing LeBron James by the shoulders (he made the shot anyway). Ray Allen and Alan Anderson got double-technicals after they got in a little pushing match after being tied it. The series got physical.

It was an impressive outing from the Nets all around, but there remains one question:

Can they repeat that performance?

They shot 52.8 percent as a team and you can expect Miami to bounce back with a new level of energy Monday night. Brooklyn is going to have to stay hot in this series, they are going to need guys coming off the bench with big nights, they are going to need it all.

And they are going to need it Monday night, because they are in trouble if they head back to Miami down 3-1.