It didn’t take very many games this season for the Nets to realize that the pieces on the roster don’t fit under new head coach Lionel Hollins, and so Brooklyn’s three biggest (and highest paid) stars were made available in trade talks with other teams.
The problem for the Nets is that the contracts of Joe Johnson, Deron Williams and Brook Lopez are all prohibitive in terms of getting a deal done.
The Kings, however, were reportedly willing to take on Williams’ deal, and at the time, it was believed that he was the player Sacramento was seeking. But as it turns out, he was only the secondary player the Kings were targeting the way the trade was proposed.
Talks between the Sacramento Kings and Brooklyn Nets about a trade involving Nets star Deron Williams have cooled, according to league sources.
Sacramento had recently initiated talks with the Nets, proposing a deal for Williams and second-year forward Mason Plumlee, who was actually the Kings’ main target, sources said.
With Plumlee struggling and clashing a bit with new Nets coach Lionel Hollins over the first month of the season, the Kings were hoping he might be available. To compel the Nets into moving Plumlee, they considered taking on Williams, whose contract and history of injuries has scared off many clubs.
Brooklyn wisely turned this scenario down, and has no intention of moving Plumlee — with good reason.
Plumlee is the one piece of promising young talent in place on the Nets’ roster. The team has been built to “win now” with those big names on high-dollar contracts, but it hasn’t worked out that way. At some point, Brooklyn needs to add inexpensive pieces capable of contributing while still on their rookie scale deals. And despite struggling to find his way with Hollins in the early part of the season, Plumlee earned a place onto the Team USA roster this past summer, and is a quality big man playing in only in his second NBA season.
Talks may continue between these two teams until February’s trade deadline passes. But it’s clear that the Nets aren’t going to involve Plumlee in a deal just to get out from under one of its star player’s unfavorable contracts.