Still smarting over losing Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks, Nets fans?
Take heart. Take a lot of heart. Their deal Wednesday that brought point guard Deron Williams over from the Utah Jazz for Devin Harris, Derrick Favors and two first-round picks was cheaper and potentially more beneficial to the Nets than the fleece job the Nuggets pulled on the Knicks.
The key will be getting the 26-year-old Williams to agree to an extension. Williams is less than enthused about coming to New Jersey, but a little success might help him change his opinion.
In the meantime, the Nets should reap some immediate rewards from landing one of the NBA’s top point guards. Here’s why.
1. Immediate improvement
Williams' 21.3-point average will immediately improve the Nets as they try to mount a charge from nine games behind the last playoff spot.
2. Infectious star quality
The Nets haven’t had a player like this since Jason Kidd. Because he’s such a distributor, the league’s third-best assist man (9.7 average) will make everybody else work harder to get open. Maybe now Brook Lopez will be a little less shy about venturing deep into the paint.
3. Image change
This was kind of an “in your face” moment directed at that other area team. The Knicks are still the big draw and probably always will be. But the Williams trade puts some interest back into a 17-40 squad, and shows the fan base that the Nets, indeed, can be a big player in area basketball. Besides, their involvement in the Anthony deal muddied the waters just enough that James Dolan had to spend a bundle more than he wanted to for Anthony.