Report: Kings discussing trade for Deron Williams with Nets


After a start to the season that was far below Brooklyn’s expectations, the Nets essentially placed anyone and everyone on the trading block — in order to improve, or potentially to hit the reset button while intending to rebuild from scratch.

While the contracts of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and even Brook Lopez would appear to be difficult to move considering the dollar amounts that are guaranteed relative to those players’ current levels of production, at least one team appears ready to make a move to take one of them on.

From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

The Brooklyn Nets and Sacramento Kings are discussing a deal centered on former All-Star guard Deron Williams, league sources told Yahoo Sports. …

The talks have centered on sending the Nets point guard Darren Collison and forwards Derrick Williams and Jason Thompson as part of a multi-player package for Williams, league sources said. …

The Nets’ partnership with Williams has become increasingly fractured over the past two years, and the idea of a breakup has appeal for both sides, sources tell Yahoo.

In light of recent events, we really shouldn’t be surprised.

Ownership in Sacramento is for some reason desperate to make an immediate splash; it’s the reason that a competent head coach was fired midseason for no good reason.

Williams has been great in the early part of the year, but health issues may be creeping into the picture once again. Williams is set for an MRI on a calf injury that forced him out of Brooklyn’s close loss to the Cavaliers on Friday.

Sacramento is reportedly pushing to get Mason Plumlee as part of the deal, and if the Kings persist, that will likely kill these talks. Brooklyn rightfully considers Plumlee relatively untouchable at this point, as they should — despite head coach Lionel Hollins being somewhat reluctant to trust him thus far.

Nothing is imminent, and the conversations will continue. But make no mistake — Deron Williams is available, and the Kings are one of the more likely teams to be willing to absorb that contract, and take him off of Brooklyn’s hands.

Report: Nets want to trade only one, maybe two, of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez – not all three


A report emerged the Nets were shopping Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez.

Brooklyn general manager Billy King also denied the team was having a fire sale.

Was the initial report wrong, or was King lying?

There’s a middle ground where neither is the case.

Howard Beck of Bleacher Report:

The more likely scenario, per team sources, is that the Nets will trade one of the three, two at most, and keep retooling around whoever is left. Team officials want to rebuild while staying competitive.

The 10-12 Nets could probably use a shakeup. Trading one of those players would probably accomplish that. Trading all three would definitely provide a shakeup, though it would make remaining competitive difficult.

But there might be another factor at play.

If the Nets pay the luxury tax this year and next, which they’re projected to do, the repeater tax will kick in next season. If they dump one of Williams, Johnson or Lopez this season without taking salary back, they’d slip below the tax line.

Of course, trading one of those players without taking back salary would be nearly impossible. However, it wouldn’t be quite as difficult to maneuver below next year’s tax line.

Ridiculous spending hasn’t gotten the Nets anywhere but mostly locked into this roster. At this point, a single move is not only more realistic than three, it might be enough to expose a light at the end of the tunnel.

Nets GM says there’s no ‘fire sale’ of team’s star players


The Nets are off to a 9-12 start to the season, and while that currently may be good enough for eighth (and a playoff spot) in the woeful Eastern Conference, it’s clear that the team with the highest payroll in the league is in need of some serious changes.

It wasn’t surprising, then, that a report surfaced earlier this week that had Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez all available in trade, should another team find itself willing to take on one of those high-priced contracts.

But Nets GM Billy King says his intent isn’t to blow it all up in Brooklyn, and that he’s simply doing his due diligence while looking at ways to improve the roster.

From Tim Bontemps of the New York Post:

“My job is to listen to people and to make calls and to make calls back,” King said before the Nets’ 88-70 victory over the 76ers on Friday night at Barclays Center.

“Does that mean we’re having a fire sale? Absolutely not. I’m doing my job, as well as asking the players and the coaches to do their job. But my job is to work the phones, see what’s available.

“If things make sense you make trades. If they don’t, you don’t do it. But we’re not shopping or having a fire sale.”

All of that makes perfect sense.

It doesn’t change the fact, however, that Brooklyn’s willingness to trade essentially anyone on the roster is now public knowledge, and an admission that there is no one cornerstone player worth building around for the future.

We discussed the Nets’ situation and their potential trade partners on this week’s podcast.

PBT Podcast: OKC’s playoff chances, trade talk in Brooklyn and Charlotte, the latest drama with Lakers and Knicks


In this edition of the podcast, Kurt Helin and Dan Feldman join me to discuss all the latest happenings around the NBA.

We start with the Thunder’s win over the LeBron-less Cavs on Thursday, and wonder whether or not it’s now a foregone conclusion that OKC will be a part of the playoff picture out West, despite the slow start.

We then shift to the trade talk that’s come up in Brooklyn and Charlotte, and try to figure out if the contracts of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez might be too steep for another team to be willing to take on. We also wonder about the message trading Lance Stephenson might send, both about how the franchise operates, as well as about the player himself.

We wrap things up with a discussion about Carmelo Anthony and the state of the Knicks. Would he actually request a trade (or even accept one) after very publicly forcing his way to New York, and then signing a five-year contract extension this past summer? And while we’re on the topic of superstars in major markets on sinking ships, we break down Kobe Bryant’s latest rant that came in a recent practice with the Lakers.

PBT Extra: Talking mess that is New York basketball


The Brooklyn Nets are an 8-12 mess, an underachieving team that has put its biggest names — Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson — out there on the trade block.

And they are still in a way better spot than the Knicks.

New York basketball is an embarrassment and it’s what Jenna Corrado and I discuss in this latest PBT Extra. In New York we discuss what Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher should do differently… which frankly isn’t much. They need different players not a different system.

If you’re a Celtics fan and a Comcast Sportsnet New England subscriber who wants to see the Celtics take on the Knicks Friday night, you can catch a live stream by following this link.