As the Nets’ season nears its end, relevant people are addressing questions about what could have been and where Deron Williams stands.
“Nineteen days,” the free agent to be said.
Of course, the fact Williams is counting down the days in the season doesn’t necessarily mean he’s looking forward to the end of his time in a Nets uniform. It could just be as simple as him looking forward to the end of a frustrating, injury-plagued, playoffs-less season.
Yesterday, Deron Williams recited to reporters how many days are left in the season. Clearly, he longs for the season to end. It is unclear if he also longs to throw away his Nets uniform.
Nets GM Billy King
“And you see things getting in the right direction. Winning is important. And that’s what I told Deron: ‘We’re not rebuilding this year. We’re going to build this team to win next year’
“I think they see the positives…they enjoy each other’s company and enjoy playing together, so that’s how you look to build a team.”
Billy King seems upbeat about the Nets’ prospects in this interview. He tries to shrug off the phrase “rebuilding mode,” a graceful way of describing a bad team. He explains that the team is already good and that the players are building chemistry. In truth, King is probably very anxious about the team’s future.
Nets GM Billy King
“Brook will not play the rest of this year. He’s healing nicely, but with (nine) games to go, and him being a (restricted) free agent and looking at the future, we decided to shut him down for the rest of the year.”
King said there was no thought of bringing Lopez back for the final few games just to get a look at what a team with he, Deron Williams and Gerald Wallace playing together might look like next season in Brooklyn.
King did say if the Nets (20-37) were in the playoff hunt, “we might look at it a little differently.”
I thought that the Nets should bring back Brook Lopez to showcase a playoff-quality team in Deron Williams, Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, and Lopez. If Williams could see that the Nets already have a good roster, he may feel more inclined to re-sign with the team this offseason. Billy King apparently did not even consider this idea, even though Lopez is indeed healthy enough to play. King stated that Williams saw the Nets’ potential in October, when Lopez was healthy. I am disappointed in King’s decision. However on the plus side, no other NBA teams will be able to see how well Brook Lopez has recovered from his injuries as he enters restricted free agency. Perhaps as a result, teams will be more hesitant to place high offers on him this summer.
Stan Van Gundy
Van Gundy, asked if he believed Howard had asked for him to be fired, replied, “I know he has…That’s just the way it is…I’ve been dealing with that all year.”
Earlier this year Stan Van Gundy, Dwight Howard’s head coach, suggested to the media that Howard should be traded. Now that it has come out that Howard has been trying to get his coach fired all season, I think I now have a better understanding of why Van Gundy wanted his superstar to leave, perhaps for the Nets. Van Gundy may have wanted more job security and Howard’s departure would have helped Van Gundy’s cause.