Nets Set To Trade Deron Williams?
The writing is on the wall in New Jersey, where the Nets were hoping to make a big splash in free agency and managed to pull off little more than a ripple. Their dare-to-be-great move to acquire Deron Williams last season was supposed to be the first step in an agressive move towards contention, but by missing out on all of their big-name free agent targets during free agency they find themselves in a difficult position.
Much like the Denver Nuggets last season and the New Orleans Hornets and Orlando Magic this year, the Nets have to decide whether they can afford to gamble on their franchise player staying put.
Deron Williams can be a free agent this summer, and with the Nets stumbling along through a 3-10 start its becoming increasingly less likely that Williams will want to commit his foreseeable future to the team. The Nets have been in a desperate pursuit of Dwight Howard, but with the Magic refusing to engage in trade talks – even if the Nets had the necessary assets to start a conversation - the Nets are now reportedly considering dealing Williams before the trade deadline to avoid possibly losing him for nothing.
This situation has become all-too-familiar in the NBA in recent years. The Toronto Raptors went through it two summers ago with Chris Bosh, as did the Cleveland Cavaliers with LeBron James. L year the Denver Nuggets traded Carmelo Anthony to avoid losing him, and this season the New Orleans Hornets traded Chris Paul before the season even started for the same reason.
With Orlando playing well and the Magic determined not to trade their superstar center, it seems the Nets will have little choice but to see what they can get in the open market for Williams. The Dallas Mavericks hope to be Williams’ top choice in free agency, believing the lure of playing both at home and with Dirk Nowitzki will make it hard for Williams to consider anything else, but the Mavericks may be loathe to make an offer in trade for a player they can probably sign outright next summer.
New Jersey’s best-case scenario, as with other teams that have faced this situation, is to find a team with which Williams would agree to sign an extension and put together a deal with that team.
In other words, the Nets are about to start aggressively shopping their All-Star point guard.