Deron Williams and His 6 Draft Picks Demise

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    Updated: May 9, 2014
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    $100 million dollars in this country can buy you a lot of things. Planes, cars, businesses, stocks, homes; the list can go on and on. When it comes to sports, $100 million dollars is supposed to get you a top-tier athlete. Supposedly.

    Apparently, Deron Williams of the Brooklyn Nets does not subscribe to that notion The current version of Deron Williams is not the version that Nets General Manager Billy King was expecting when he traded for Williams in 2011.

    Williams had seasons in Utah where he averaged 19 points, 11 assists, 3 rebounds a game while shooting above 45% from the field. But his years as a Net have been plagued by lack of form, poor physical conditioning, injuries, high expectations and coaching disputes.

    It all came to a disappointing pinnacle last night for Deron. In the second game of Brooklyn’s second round playoff match-up against the Miami Heat, Deron Williams decided to be a no-show.

    He had 0 point in 36 minutes of basketball in a must win game against the defending champions. This is not the performance warranted by a player who is supposed to be the franchise cornerstone of the Nets. A corner-stone who makes $20 million a year.

    But after his performance against the Heat, it got me to thinking about how Deron got here, and how this team is constructed the way it is. And the one thing I kept thinking was 6 draft picks.

    The 6 draft picks revolving around Deron Williams that have the Nets on the verge of elimination.

     

    Draft Picks #1 and #2 In Utah 

    It all started with Nets General Manager Billy King who was looking to make a splash in the market and pick up an All-Star for the beginning of the process of what would eventually become the Brooklyn Nets.

    King reached out to the Utah Jazz who were having trouble with their star point guard Deron Williams. Deron seemed to be having problems with then head coach Jerry Sloan, and the entire episode was a mess.

    All the parties involved needed to get away from each other and quickly. Then Billy King came calling.

    The Jazz thought that eventually Deron would leave the franchise for nothing, so when King gave them a call and an offer, the Jazz jumped at the chance.

    The Jazz accepted two first round draft picks from the Nets for their franchise player, and the Jazz started their rebuilding process.

    The Nets in return received an All-Star, an Olympian, a player mentioned as one of the three best point guards in the NBA at the time, and the future face of their franchise.

    Once those first picks went out the door, King began the process of building around his new star while using the only assets he had at his disposal…more draft picks.

     

    Draft Pick #3…One For The Ages…

    Have you ever heard of Gerald Henderson? I’ll give you a second to think about it…nothing?

    Well, Henderson was an NBA player who spent one season with the New York Knick in 1986.

    Henderson was traded to the Knicks from the Seattle Super Sonics for a draft pick in the 1987 NBA Draft.

    That pick was traded to the Chicago Bulls prior to the ’87 draft because of a deal the Bulls had with the Super Sonics. That pick ladies and gentlemen turned out to be Hall of Fame champion Scottie Pippen. Ab-surd. 

    Fast-Forward to 2012 in New Jersey. After realizing that draft picks were the same as a winning lotto ticket in the NBA, Billy King decided to send another first round pick to another team for more players to help Deron.

    This time, King sent his first round pick to the Portland Trail Blazers for Gerald Wallace. Nearly 30-year-old Gerald Wallace. The trade for me was astonishing and I still have no idea why the Nets would do it.

    But, the Nets wanted to provide veteran players to be with Deron so the Nets could build a contender immediately.

    They also needed a viable known product on the floor once they opened up the new Barclays center in Brooklyn. I wonder how that pick turned out for the Blazers… 

    The Trail Blazers who have a knack for making picks that are great in theory, but end up being terrible because of injuries, picked Damian Lillard out of Weber State with that Nets Draft pick.

    Lillard was the #6 pick in the draft, he went on to win rookie of the year, and he is now burgeoning super-star in the making. Gerald Wallace on the other hand received a 4-year $40 million dollar contract, played for two seasons with the Nets, was unproductive in the last season, and was eventually traded to the Boston Celtics.

    Lillard is already a top 10-point guard in the NBA and he going to crack the top 5 sooner than later.

    Deron on the other hand is not a top 10-point guard any longer and seems to get worse every season. 

    So now the Nets have something in common with the New York Knicks. The both gave away a player that could have changed their fortunes dramatically for over a decade. Excellent.

     

    Draft Picks #4 #5 and #6…They’re all Going To Laugh At You Now…. 

    Courtesy of usatoday.com

    The last three picks were traded for the same reason pick #3 was traded for, to build around Deron Williams.

    After their first season in Brooklyn, which was pretty decent, the Chicago Bulls bounced the Nets out of the first round of the playoffs. Billy King knew this team as presently constructed needed more steel and grit.

    So using more of his favorite asset, draft picks, King sent players (including Gerald Wallce) and three first round draft picks to the Boston Celtics for John Terry, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.

    Some people liked the trade, others felt it was too steep of a price for players past their prime, but in the end, it was done.

    The experiment was either going to be all or nothing in terms of success.

    Either the Nets won an NBA Championship with the Celtics former champs, or this experiment would be an epic disaster like the Los Angeles Lakers the season prior.  

    The Nets got off to a rocky start but started righting the ship in January of the New Year.

    The Nets started playing like they were expected to when the season began.

    Although Deron was still nowhere near the heights he was during his years in Utah, he was not a hindrance to the team and he was helping.

    But once the post season started, bad and good Deron simultaneously showed up during the 7 game series during the Toronto Raptors.

    It got so bad that people started posting this around Barclays Center…Yikes.

    Deron showed up big in a must win Game 6 for the Nets which was big for him. 

    The Nets went on to win that first round series, and the players who were traded for picks #4, #5 and #6(Garnett and Pierce) made huge impacts in game 1 and game 7 of the series.

    All was well, or so we thought. The series against the young Raptors took its toll on everyone on the Nets roster. And unfortunately for Jason Kidd, the Nets old legs just haven’t been able to hang with a rested Miami Heat team.

    Deron Williams and the entire team didn’t show up for the second half of Game 1, and in Game 2 Deron disappeared completely. 0 points? In a playoff game? Wow.

    Now down 0-2, you can’t help but feel it’s nearly impossible for the Nets to come back from this sort of hole against a team with the Heat’s playoff pedigree. 

    Of course, if Deron had been the Deron of old then a lot of this would have mattered less and less.

    Hell, if the Nets miraculously winning a ring this season then none of this matters. Chances are that isn’t happening and those are the breaks.

    These poor choices with draft picks are not only harming the Nets now, but will come back to haunt the Brooklyn Nets for years to come.

    That’s 6 draft picks revolving around one player that people are already calling an expensive bust only 2 years into a 5-year $100 million contract.

    I don’t know what Deron can do to relive his old form.

    Whether it be ankle surgery, more training in the gym, pep talks from motivational speaker before the games and during half-time I don’t know. But there are a lot of happy franchises right now thanks to Deron…unfortunately none of these franchises include his current team. And that’s gotta hurt. 

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    1. Pingback: Brooklyn Nets: NYC's Latest Dysfunctional Franchise - LA Sportsa Nostra - LA Sportsa Nostra

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