Deron Williams has been out since fracturing a rib back on Jan. 7, and with him out of the lineup the Nets have gone 2-9 and fallen out of the final playoff spot in the East.
Monday night, they get him back.
He was coming off the bench behind Jarrett Jack when he got injured and that will continue for now, reports Fred Katz of Bleacher Report.
Williams is averaging 13.9 points and 6.3 assists per game this season. He hasn’t been anything approaching vintage Williams and has a pedestrian true shooting percentage of .527.
The return of Williams puts back together a roster the Nets threw together a season ago to open Barclays Center with a bang and ideally contend for a title. It did the former fairly well, not the latter. Now the Nets are trying to unload at least two of their high-priced trio of Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez (it is Lopez that is drawing the most interest, but the Nets are asking for more than other teams have proven willing to send back). Things will be in flux while the team is for sale.
The Nets are just 1.5 games back of Charlotte (a team without Kemba Walker) for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East. They could make a run and get back into the postseason, making them fodder for the Hawks in the first round but at least they’d be in. It’s not like they have any picks of note left to tank for (they traded away the picks, or at least the right to switch picks, for years to come to assemble the team on the court now).