The Nets are Still Stinging From Shooting Themselves in the Foot

Deron Williams is a New Jersey Net. He might be a Brooklyn Net next year. Or he might be on another team. Dwight Howard could too be a New Jersey/Brooklyn Net.

But, and I emphasize but, if Howard doesn’t go to the tri-state area, the Nets could be in some hot water. Without Howard, Williams isn’t going to stay with the Nets. They are terrible with Brook Lopez, MarShon Brooks and Johan Petro’s contract. They aren’t getting any better, unless David Stern awards them every lottery pick this season (not out of the question). Point is that Williams probably isn’t going to stay with their current roster for the next couple years.

It all hinges on Howard. Because, to reiterate the same point, Williams is probably gone if Howard doesn’t come.

Look at New Jersey’s roster without Williams.:

PF Kris Humphries

SG Anthony Morrow

PG Jordan Farmar

C Johan Petro

C Brook Lopez

SG Deshawn Stevenson

SF Damion James

G MarShon Brooks

PF Shelden Williams

G Sundita Gaines

F Jordan Williams

SG Keith Bogans

F Gerald Wallace

These days in the NBA, and generally all professional sports, there isn’t a biggest loser team. There is no bad team laden with terrible contracts. Granted this team doesn’t have a lot of bad contracts, but you might be looking at a team with a not so bright future with the Nets. Unless the aforementioned Stern-gives-the-Nets-all-the-lottery-picks. You’ve got Brook Lopez, Wallace, some role players and a couple iffy contracts.

If the Nets let all their potential free agents walk (including Williams), you’re looking at next year’s team minus free agent signings and draft picks being Anthony Morrow, Jordan Farmar, Johan Petro, Damion James, MarShon Brooks, Wallace and Jordan Williams. That is a decent second unit-and-change at best along with Wallace. So go ahead and sell season tickets with that.

Deron Williams also was acquired for, get this: Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, the Enes Kanter draft pick, and the Warriors first rounder this year. That’s another potentially big piece. Keep the Bigs along with Lopez and another lottery pick? I’m not saying I would stand in line for the bandwagon, but that isn’t too shabby for a squad that recently rolled out some iffy squads.

Who wouldn’t want those guys along with Brook Lopez, Wallace and Brooks instead of Williams leaving.?  Even if Williams stayed, I’d rather have Harris and two potentially, really good bigs instead of possibly four or five years of D-Will and no other superstar.

So to reiterate again, we have reality, which is a potentially lame duck in Deron Williams and a lot of iffy assets. Or we have fantasy which is Kanter, Favors, another lottery pick and Devin Harris.

The bright future that the Nets would like isn’t there. Unless Williams leaves and David Stern magically makes all the Nets’ contracts expire after the season. (Again completely plausible. Stern is probably a nice guy, but he can be a little biased towards certain people and cities. Cough, Clay Bennett, Cough, Oklahoma City).

(Had to get my annual Stern jab in there.)

Say this situation happens next year, Dwight Howard is traded to the Lakers, or the Bulls or any team frankly, anywhere but New Jersey. Let’s also say that Howard signs an extension with team x. The Nets aren’t going to let Williams walk, because he will if Howard goes elsewhere, without getting anything back. The team will try to get some pieces out of him. Whether that be picks or young pieces.

The stupid thing would be to move Williams frantically for a big expiring contract and an iffy piece.

The smart thing would be to feel out the market and take the best deal possible.

The sad thing (and looking like the likely thing) is that the Nets might lose all those potentially very good pieces for an extended rental.

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