Reading Deron Williams’ comments in the New York Times, you get the idea that Williams likes living in New York. He is living in SoHo with his family and commuting to New Jersey, plus doing charity work in Brooklyn. He’s happy there. He was at a party Tuesday night in SoHo to celebrate his partnership with Red Bull — the kind of perk that comes to stars in New York.
And yet, there is the basketball.
The Nets are 1-1 and only got that win because of a 20-point comeback against a weak Washington squad. The Nets are not good. Williams said to the Times what everybody knows —the Nets need roster help (especially with Brook Lopez out for at least a couple months).
“We need some more pieces,” he said. “There’s no secret about that. There’s not many starters on our team right now. We have a lot of great role players, a lot of guys who know their job, but in this league you need some top-tier guys so you can get the job done.”
The Nets have tried. They are in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes and have gone hard at seemingly every good free agent on the market. It’s not for lack of effort, but they are striking out a lot.
Right now, Williams sounds patient.
“I had one assist, six turnovers tonight — I don’t know if that’s ever happened in my life,” he said. “It’s a learning process. Normally I’d be upset. I am upset, but normally I’d be worse than I am right now. I expect things to get better before they get worse.”
If they don’t get better, the Nets run the risk of losing him this summer as a free agent. The unthinkable for New Jersey is to have to trade Williams at the deadline rather than lose him for nothing (they gave up a lot of talent, like Derrick Favors, plus picks to get him).
The Nets need to do something and they know it. Everyone knows it. They are moving into a New York marketplace where the Knicks are established and now good again. They need to make some kind of splash. D-Will alone isn’t enough.
Nothing about New Jersey’s situation is a secret. Doesn’t make it easy.