The Buyout of Deron Williams: Addition By Subtraction


May 1, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams (8) shoots over Atlanta Hawks small forward DeMarre Carroll (5) during the first quarter of game six of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

For a group that got considerably younger in comparison to last season, (nearly a 3 year drop in average age) one of the keys to success this year will be camaraderie. As a core of young players grabbing at the chance to prove that they belong in this league, the team will undoubtedly go through difficult stretches in the season. They lack experience, but they’ll aim to make up for it with heart and hustle.

The Brooklyn Nets will have a full 20-man roster going into training camp. It’ll be a bloodbath between journeymen and newcomers alike, gunning for the last few available spots on the roster. One thing’s for sure: those who make the team will want to be there and give their all in favor of the team’s success.

As for Deron Williams, many thought he had given up on his tenure in Brooklyn well before it was over. “I think he had one foot out the door” a league executive said. “When you don’t work out somewhere and you’re looking for the exit door, you’re not going to be as productive at work.”

It seemed as if the criticism aimed at D-Will was never ending. Ex teammate Paul Pierce was on the record as well. “Before I got there, I looked at Deron as an MVP candidate. But I felt once we got there, that’s not what he wanted to be. He just didn’t want that. I feel like the pressure got to him.”

Reggie Miller then piled on, agreeing with Pierce. “I don’t really like to kill guys but you have to call a spade a spade. I think he’s right on.”

It was no secret that DWill was seen as a black cloud in and out of the locker room. His attitude was sour, he wasn’t a leader, and he didn’t want to be there. Not all of the criticism was unwarranted, as his numbers took a steady decline since arriving in Brooklyn.

In the 2010-2011 season when he was traded at the deadline: 15.0 points 12.8 assists (in 12 games).

2011-2012: 21.0 PPG and 8.7 APG (55 games).

2012-2013: 18.9 PPG and 7.7 APG. (78 games).

2013-2014: 14.3 PPG and 6.1 APG. (64 games).

2014-2015: 13.0 PPG and 6.6 APG. (68 games).

The perplexingly slow decline of a player that was once considered to be the best point guard in the game is enough to garner criticism from all angles, whether it be fans, analysts, teammates or front office guys.

Even during his weakest season, it’s probably true that Williams was a better player than Jack. It will probably also be true that he would be a better option, statistically speaking, than the combination of Jack, Larkin and Sloan. But what Nets fans hope to be true, is that the severance between Williams and the Nets will have a beneficial effect that is unquantifiable. As of now, it’s impossible to gage how much better a player does due to the absence of another. We don’t quite have the advanced analytics to prove whether the absence of Williams’ bad attitude really amplifies good play throughout his former team. But based on human nature, we sure can hope.

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