UPDATE March 3, 9:49 am: Deron Williams says he is is playing this weekend in London, he told Sekou Smith of NBA.com.
“I’m playing,” he said after the Nets wrapped up their Thursday morning practice at the arena. “I’m definitely playing tomorrow.”
Debate the wisdom of that if you want, but he is going.
March 2, 8:25 pm: Nets fans in New Jersey got to see Deron Williams for a game.
Nets fans in London — both of them — may not be so lucky.
Deron Williams said in conference call from London with reporters today that his right wrist is sore and really needs “three to four weeks” of rest to get right, reports the Star-Ledger. Williams also knows he’s not going to get that.
“They just traded for me. I don’t think they traded for me to sit out,” said Williams, who was acquired by the Nets from the Utah Jazz on Feb. 23 for Devin Harris, Derrick Favors and two first-round draft picks.
Williams also suffered a bone bruise in his other (left) hand Monday. So, he’s a point guard with two bad hands. Not exactly ideal. The schedule works to the Nets advantage here, thanks to days off on either side of their trip to face the Raptors for two games in London (Friday and Saturday).
The Nets last played Monday against Phoenix. If he takes the two London games off Williams would get to rest until next Wednesday when the Nets take on the Warriors in New Jersey.
Eight days off is not three weeks off — he took eight games off after his hand got injured and it still bothers him — but it’s better than him continuing to play with two sore hands.
The Nets have not announced anything and you can bet the league is going to pressure the Nets to have their new star on the court. Then again Nets also are not playoff bound, so it’s hard to come up with good reasons to risk anything more serious happening to Williams wrist.